Good morning, it's Paul here.

Please see the header for the company announcements that I'm covering today.

Estimated time of completion - 1pm mainly, but I might add extra bits after that.
Edit at 13:25 - it's cold & rainy, and I have nothing else to do, so will carry on writing - revised completion time: 4pm
Edit at 15:03 - today's report is now finished.


Worsening coronavirus spread

It looks like we're entering a choppier phase, with futures down heavily overnight. Hardly surprising, given the coronavirus is not being contained, and a global pandemic now looks a distinct possibility, or is already starting.

For this reason, I remain very cautious, and am not thinking about opening any new long positions right now - unless the buying case is compelling. Still, we need to keep up with the newsflow, to keep the archive up-to-date, so it's business as usual.

I think we need to be braced for further share price falls (and possibly some buying opportunities), as the coronavirus spread worsens. Although buyers can only buy if they have cash on hand. It's all very well people saying that it kills fewer people than normal flu, but just look at the economic impact of counter-measures in China - they all but halted economic activity in affected areas. We don't yet know whether the resumption of economic activity which is underway now, is likely to cause infections to increase - but that seems likely to me, based on common sense.

For anyone who missed it, I published a very interesting audio interview last week, with Andy Gossage, MD of Up Global Sourcing Holdings (LON:UPGS) - here. It's a non-commercial thing, with no fees or ads. I just did it for general interest, and to help inform readers on a topical subject. The conclusion seems to be that there will be disruption to China supply chains, but that this can be mitigated. Also, it's temporary.

Another aspect to consider, is that I imagine companies needing re-financing might possibly find it harder to do so, if this situation continues to worsen. It's essential to look more closely than ever at balance sheets, for companies which might be affected by coronavirus-related economic problems. I wouldn't want to be holding highly geared transport or holiday companies right now, for example - how would they service their debt,…

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