Markets slump as US Senate deadlocked over Covid-19 stimulus – business live

Rolling coverage of the latest economic and financial news, as fears of a deep global recession send shares sliding again

  • 10am: FTSE 100 down 220 points or 4.2%
  • Introduction: US Senate deadlocked over stimulus package
  • Stocks slide in Asia and Europe
  • Airbus lines up credit facility
  • Coronavirus – global live updates
  • See all our coronavirus coverage

The pound is weakening this morning, as investors dash into the safety of the US dollar and the euro again.

Sterling has lost three-quarters of a cent to $1.156, back towards the 35-year low of $1.14 set last Friday. It was worth $1.30 a month ago (meaning UK investors who held cash rather than shares have also suffered from the coronavirus).

Just in: 70 Laura Ashley stores are closing permanently today, putting 721 jobs at risk, as the company appoints administrators.

“I remain unwavering in my belief that Laura Ashley can and should retain the place it deserves in the international retail landscape. Unfortunately, we will lose some brilliant people through no fault of their own.

However, I remain hopeful there is a buyer out there who shares my vision and can see the enormous potential of this iconic

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