Marks & Spencer to cut 7,000 jobs; S&P 500 hits record high – as it happened

Rolling coverage of the latest economic and financial news, as high street chain M&S announces streamlining programme, and hefty job cuts

5.34pm BST

And finally… the London stock market had closed at its lowest point in over a week.

The FTSE 100 index has ended the day down 50 points, or 0.8%, at 6,076 points.

In a reversal of yesterday’s move, the FTSE 100 is being hurt by the strength of the pound. Sentiment in Europe is weak, but the positive move in sterling, has caused the British equity benchmark to underperform. In terms of index points, some of the biggest fallers are GlaxoSmithKline, AstraZeneca, British American Tobacco and Unilever – they all earn a large chunk of their revenue overseas, so the upward move in the pound works against them.

Tensions between the US and China have heightened again as President Trump has tightened restrictions on Huawei. The US leader wants to limit the Chinese company’s access to US-produced chips. The firm was already under scrutiny from the US government, but the heat has been turned up again.

Related: Marks & Spencer to cut 7,000 jobs over three months

Related: UK coronavirus job losses: the latest data on redundancies and furloughs

Related: Eat out to help out: Britons claim 35m discounted meals

Related: Norway’s wealth fund loses £16bn in first half of 2020 after Covid panic

Related: Supermarket sales in Great Britain slowed after face-covering rule

5.22pm BST

Figures released earlier today have shown that the US housing market continued to recover last month.

Housing starts increased by 22.6% — far more than expected — to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.496 million units last month, the Commerce Department said on Tuesday. That suggests that the home construction sector is strengthening, after slowing sharply during the lockdown.

New residential construction soared 22.6% in July, extending the 11.1% and 17.5% increases seen in May and June, respectively, with housing starts rising from 1,220,000 units at the annual rate in June to 1,496,000 units in July, a five-month high.

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