UK stocks opened substantially higher on Tuesday as many countries around the world, including Britain, continued to ease Covid-19 lockdown measures. At 0824, the benchmark FTSE 100 index was up 132.03 points, or 2.2%, at 6,125.31, with the market having been closed on Monday for a bank holiday. Luxury car maker Aston Martin Lagoda rallied 30% to 46.02p, on confirming reports over the weekend that chief executive Andy Palmer had stood down and been replaced by Mercedes Benz executive Tobias Moers. In a busy morning for executive appointments, packaging company Mondi said it had poached Mike Powell, the finance head of plumbing group Ferguson, to be its new chief financial officer. Mondi added 1.3% to £14.245 and Ferguson gained 3.7% to £64.4432. Budget airline EasyJet ascended 12% to 625p, even as it announced that its CFO, Andrew Findlay, was poised to stand down. Findaly, however, wouldn't depart for another year, in adherence with his contractual obligations. Bus and train operator Stagecoach jumped 11% to 65.87p as it welcomed a move by the UK government to restart bus, tram and light rail services in England. The UK's Department for Transport announced that it was offering £254m of further funding for buses and £29m for trams and light rail to help increase the frequency and capacity of services as lockdowns ease. Defence contractor Ultra Electronics rose 2.3% to £20.02 after its joint venture with Sparton DLS won subcontracts worth $204.6m for the manufacture of sonobuoys for the US Navy. UK software provider Softcat fell 0.9% to £12.46 on announcing that it had traded 'satisfactorily' during its third quarter through April, having grown revenue, gross profit and operating profit. Auto dealer Marshall Motor firmed 6.0% to 109.75p, having confirmed it would reopen its UK showrooms next week, in line with government rules. Advertising company S4 Capital found 1.6% to 248.99p as it acquired Latin American data and analytics consultancy Digodat, for an undisclosed sum. Respiratory drug developer Synairgen added 6.7% to 54.4p, despite posting a full-year loss owing to R&D spending, as it continued to progress an investigation into a potential Covid-19 treatment. IT services provider Kainos slipped 0.3% to 883.65p on announcing that it would not declare a final dividend, despite reporting a 10% rise in annual profit underpinned by an uptick in sales. Security services company Westminster gained 5.6% to 9.4p after its technology division won a $665k contract from an investment management company. Traffic analytics group Tracsis advanced 6.8% to 609p as it won two major rail contracts. Membrane technology developer Modern Water surged 11% to 2.31p on winning an equipment order worth CNY3.56m (around £410k) from Sichuan province in China.
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