UK stocks held on to early gains at midday Tuesday as hopes of an economic revival sparked by an easing Covid-19 lockdowns were tempered by persistent rioting in the US. At 12:00, the benchmark FTSE 100 index was 1% higher at 6,226.26. Technology company WANdisco jumped 17.4% to 810p, having secured a reseller agreement with 'a large global systems integrator', which it didn't name. Industrial and electronic products group Electrocomponents rose 7.8% to 687.5p, even as it deferred its final dividend amid uncertainty over the Covid-19 pandemic, having reported a 2.3% rise in annual pre-tax profit. Electrocomponents said it would review paying an interim dividend for 2020 at the half year. Retirement home developer McCarthy & Stone firmed 6.3% to 76.2p on announcing a phased reopening of its sales offices and construction sites from next Monday. Private hospital group Mediclinic International rose 5.5% to 289.4p despite it recording an annual loss, which it pinned on asset writedowns and pressure on sales from the Covid-19 crisis. Biotherapeutics company PureTech Health gained 3.4% to 258.5p, on news its Gelesis unit, which it founded, had received approval to market a novel weight loss treatment in Europe. Real estate investor UK Commercial Property REIT added 0.3% to 59.9p as it posted a fall in annual profit owing to losses on the value of its investments, though its underlying earnings improved. UK Commercial Property REIT held its dividend steady at 3.68p per share. Optical components and systems maker Gooch & Housego slipped 0.8% to £10 after it scrapped its interim dividend, citing Covid-19 uncertainty that had weighed on industrial laser sales. Greeting card and gift retailer Card Factory eased back 1.4% to 40.4p as it pulled its final dividend and its profits fell. Supermarket giant Tesco fell 1.7% to 227.9p on announcing that chief financial officer Alan Stewart had decided to retire and would leave the company at the end of April next year. Stewart's decision comes after Walgreens Boots Alliance executive Ken Murphy was picked by Tesco to replace outgoing chief executive Dave Lewis. Ink-jet printing technology group Xaar shed 3% to 62p, despite trading in the first four months of the new financial year meeting its expectations. Sales had been weaker in Europe and North America, Xaar said, but stronger in Asia where economies have come out of lockdown sooner.
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