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Business briefing: FTSE up record 452 points as companies get £113bn boost

THE FTSE-100 enjoyed its best trading day ever as it soared to its highest ever daily gain.

The market closed 452.12 points up — or 9.1 per cent — at 5,446 as investors reacted positively to Boris Johnson’s UK lockdown.

The top 100 companies also saw more than £113billion added to their combined value — the first major rise since the outbreak of coronavirus.

It came as US politicians prepared to pass laws to pump $2trillion (£1.7trillion) into the economy to shore up businesses. Combined with the lifting of a lockdown in Wuhan — the Chinese city at the epicentre of the outbreak – markets rallied across the world.

The Dow Jones jumped 1,356 points, or 7.3 per cent, in morning trading and stocks rose 8.6 per cent in South Korea and by 7.3 per cent in Germany. Oil prices also rose.

‘It’s still early days but perhaps investors can start to envisage life beyond coronavirus,’ said Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at OANDA Europe.

Not just any takeaway! Deliveroo sending out M&S

Deliveroo is teaming up with BP and Marks & Spencer to offer free delivery of basic goods such as milk, bread and juices to self-isolating households. Around 120 M&S franchises have signed up for the deal, which also offers a range of pizzas and ready meals. Separately, the Essentials by Deliveroo service is being rolled out to deliver tinned goods, pasta and household items.

Ineos to make free hand sanitiser for the NHS

CHEMICALS giant Ineos is to open an emergency hand sanitiser plant producing 1million bottles a month.

The company said the site, near Middlesbrough, will be ready within ten days — and that products will be given to hospitals for free. Founder and chairman Sir Jim Ratcliffe said: ‘Ineos is a company with enormous resources and manufacturing skills. If we can find other ways to help in the coronavirus battle, we are absolutely committed to playing our part.’

Home care company creates 10,000 front-line jobs

A HOME care company is creating 10,000 jobs to meet demand because of coronavirus — and wants those facing redundancy to apply. Cera plans to increase its workforce from 2,000 to 12,000, with new staff ready to start in 10 days. It expects a surge in demand from the 9million Britons over 70. Boss Dr Ben Maruthappu said most of the new roles ‘will be as front-line carers’.

■ LUXURY goods-maker Mulberry has warned it expects to slump to a second-half loss with trading ‘severely impacted’ by coronavirus. The Somerset-based group’s UK stores – where handbags cost from £1,000 – have been closed since March 21 and it is reviewing its international outlets on a ‘case-by-case basis’.