FTSE finishes in the red as coronavirus fears persist

Fri, 7th Feb 2020

UK stocks stumbled on Friday, giving up weekly gains as concerns over the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak persisted, even after the World Health Organisation said that the drop in the number of new cases is 'good news'. By 16:35, the commodity-laden FTSE finished 0.51% lower at 7,466.70, with a warning from luxury fashion retailer Burberry that the outbreak was hurting sales weighing on sentiment. LARGE AND MID CAP RISERS AND FALLERS Luxury goods brand Burberry cheapened 0.65% to £20.04 after it warned of a 'material' impact from the coronavirus, as it shuttered stores in China and experienced a broader downturn in global sales due to travel restrictions. Burberry said 24 of its 64 stores in mainland China were closed, with remaining stores operating with reduced hours and seeing significant footfall declines. Travel company TUI ticked up 0.8% to 857.6p on announcing that it had sold its Hapag-Lloyd cruise ship asset into an equal joint venture with Royal Caribbean Cruises, for an expected €700m. The venture, to be named TUI Cruises, would be valued at €1.2bn, TUI said, adding that deal was expected to generate a 'considerable' book gain. House builder Bellway softened 0.84% to £40.30 even as it reported record first-half volume output for the year, with home completions rising 6.3%. However, Bellway also warned that margins would continue to 'normalise' amid a backdrop of flat house prices. Veterinary company CVS reversed 2.4% to £12.20, despite forecasting a material boost in first-half adjusted earnings, driven by higher sales and lower employment costs. Fellow veterinary company and pet-product retailer Pets at Home declined 0.6% to 305p, having announced it had appointed Ian Burke as its new chairman, to replace Tony DeNunzio. Burke was currently chairman of home shopping company Studio Retail and was also a non-executive senior independent director of Intu Properties. Healthcare services group Mediclinic International was marked down 1p to 381.1p after it gained competition clearance its planned acquisition of Matlosana Medical Health Services in South Africa. SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS Audio-visual equipment distributor Midwich moved 3% higher to 550p, having acquired US counterpart Starin Marketing for up to $46.1m (£35.7m), including debt. Anpario fattened up 4.8% to 330p as the two Gresham House-managed Baronsmead venture capital trusts popped up on the share register with a combined 5.99% stake in the animal health feed additives producer. Story provided by StockMarketWire.com

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