London open: Stocks fall amid fears over new coronavirus cases

Fri 10 Jul 2020

LONDON (SHARECAST) - (Sharecast News) - London stocks fell in early trade on Friday amid ongoing concerns about a jump in new coronavirus cases.
At 0840 BST, the FTSE 100 was down 0.5% at 6,018.85.

CMC Markets analyst Michael Hewson said: "Markets in Asia have finished a choppy week very much on the back foot, as rising coronavirus cases in the US, and the southern states especially, appear to be now translating into a rise in fatality rates. The closure of schools in Hong Kong and the further tightening of virus restrictions in Australia has also fed into the underlying negative mood at the end of the week.

"Some are blaming the premature re-opening of some parts of the US economy, for the sharp rise in infections there, however some of the rise is probably more down to a lack of care in social distancing rather than the re-openings themselves, with infection rates here in Europe and the UK so far continuing to fall, despite a continued relaxation of the rules.

"As we come to the end of another choppy week, markets here in Europe have opened lower this morning, and look set to finish the week very much on the back foot, as it becomes increasingly apparent that any economic recovery is unlikely to be v-shaped in nature, with a wide range of companies starting to announce thousands of job losses this week."

On home shores, industry data out earlier revealed that shopping habits started to show tentative signs of recovery in June as lockdown measures were eased.

The BRC-ShopperTrak for UK footfall in June was down 62.6% year-on-year, a 19 percentage point improvement on May. In the first two weeks of the month, footfall declined on average 77.1%, but that improved to a 53.3% fall in the remaining three weeks.

Non-essential shops began reopening from 12 June in Northern Ireland and from 15 June in England. They starting reopening in Scotland in the last week of the month only.

Retail parks fared better than high streets, with a decline of 33.8% in June; high streets reported a 64.5% slide.

Shopping centres - where social distancing was more challenging - reported a 68.3% decline.

Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium, said: "With lockdown easing, consumers are slowing re-emerging onto their high streets, shopping centres and retail parks. Footfall levels are still well below pre-coronavirus levels; however, the decline was softer that it was in May.

"UK recovery has been sluggish, especially compared with European standards, but retailers with stores remain hopeful that the reopening of hospitality will provide a welcome boost."

In equity markets, insurer Hastings was under the cosh after Goldman Sachs placed 22 million shares in the company.

On the upside, Petropavlovsk advanced after one of its investors called for a shareholder meeting to remove Peter Hambro and four other directors who were installed in a boardroom coup. The Russian gold miner said it would hold a meeting at the request of Everest Alliance, which holds about 5% of the company's shares.

Everest wants Hambro, Alya Samokhvalova, Johnny Martin Smith, Martin Smith and Angelica Phillips to leave the board after they were elected on 30 June. Everest has proposed two new directors and wants four current directors to be kept on before the meeting.

London commercial landlord Great Portland Estates was in focus after saying it had collected 69% of June rent to date including amounts covered by rent deposits as tenants felt the pressure of the coronavirus lockdown. This figure slumped to 58% when deposits were excluded with 74% collected from office tenants. Only 28% came in from retail, hospitality and leisure sectors clients, hit hardest by the shuttering.

Market Movers

FTSE 100 (UKX) 6,018.85 -0.51%
FTSE 250 (MCX) 16,956.57 -0.17%
techMARK (TASX) 3,642.80 -0.25%

FTSE 100 - Risers

Homeserve (HSV) 1,269.00p 1.44%
Scottish Mortgage Inv Trust (SMT) 912.00p 1.33%
Avast (AVST) 559.50p 0.99%
Land Securities Group (LAND) 549.60p 0.84%
Sainsbury (J) (SBRY) 188.80p 0.75%
Bunzl (BNZL) 2,145.00p 0.66%
WPP (WPP) 579.20p 0.63%
Persimmon (PSN) 2,605.00p 0.62%
Morrison (Wm) Supermarkets (MRW) 179.55p 0.53%
British Land Company (BLND) 377.20p 0.51%

FTSE 100 - Fallers

International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 202.40p -2.46%
Royal Dutch Shell 'B' (RDSB) 1,162.40p -1.59%
Mondi (MNDI) 1,415.00p -1.53%
Burberry Group (BRBY) 1,552.50p -1.49%
RSA Insurance Group (RSA) 406.90p -1.41%
Melrose Industries (MRO) 112.10p -1.36%
Polymetal International (POLY) 1,580.50p -1.34%
Royal Dutch Shell 'A' (RDSA) 1,215.20p -1.30%
Prudential (PRU) 1,216.50p -1.30%
M&G (MNG) 169.25p -1.25%

FTSE 250 - Risers

PureTech Health (PRTC) 289.00p 4.90%
AO World (AO.) 161.20p 4.68%
Spirent Communications (SPT) 257.50p 4.67%
Oxford Instruments (OXIG) 1,394.00p 3.87%
ICG Enterprise Trust (ICGT) 766.00p 3.51%
Petropavlovsk (POG) 26.90p 3.26%
Unite Group (UTG) 934.00p 3.20%
Contour Global (GLO) 198.00p 3.13%
CLS Holdings (CLI) 191.40p 2.90%
Allianz Technology Trust (ATT) 2,410.00p 1.90%

FTSE 250 - Fallers

Impax Environmental Markets (IEM) 316.00p -4.53%
Carnival (CCL) 902.40p -4.41%
Hastings Group Holdings (HSTG) 181.20p -4.18%
Vistry Group (VTY) 692.50p -3.01%
TUI AG Reg Shs (DI) (TUI) 350.00p -2.89%
Watches of Switzerland Group (WOSG) 278.00p -2.63%
Capita (CPI) 38.00p -2.46%
National Express Group (NEX) 162.60p -2.28%
TBC Bank Group (TBCG) 876.00p -2.23%
Weir Group (WEIR) 1,007.00p -2.14%
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