Source - SMW
UK stocks opened lower on Friday as any optimism sparked by plans to reopen more local businesses, including gyms, was tempered by a fast-climbing global Covid-19 caseload.

At 0825, the benchmark FTSE 100 index was down 23.73 points, or 0.4%, at 6,025.89.

Gym Group flexed 2.1% higher to 153p on confirming that it would reopen its fitness centres from 25 July, in line with government guidance.

Component supplier to the aerospace, defence and energy sectors Senior dropped 1.5% to 59.7p, having reduced its headcount by another 12%, amid a 30% slump in first-half revenue.

Wagamama and Frankie & Benny's owner Restaurant Group shed 0.9% to 53.05p, even as it accessed £50m of debt funding via the UK government's Covid-19 support scheme, and commenced a phased reopening of its restaurants and pubs.

Restaurant Group said it was aiming to have 25% of its total estate operational by the end of July, 60% by the end of August and 90% by the end of September.

The remaining 10%, however, was not expected to open this calendar year reflecting locations where footfall were anticipated to remain considerably weak -- primarily in some airport locations.

Real estate company Great Portland Estates edged back 0.1% to 609.8p after it announced that it had collected 69% of June rent, as some of its occupiers' ability to pay had been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Music and audio products company Focusrite rallied 8.6% to 689.7p after it pleasantly surprised investors by deciding to pay an interim dividend, while upgrading its profit guidance for the full year.

Medical diagnostics company Genedrive slumped 6.4% to 95.95p as its revenue more than halved, and it said delivery of its Covid-19 testing kit was being held back by longer-than-expected regulatory approvals.

Maritime surveillance group SRT Marine Systems jumped 19% to 35p on news that a delayed Philippines fisheries management project had recommenced, with a 'significant' cash payment having been received this week.

Accommodation group Dalata Hotel shed 0.4% to 260p, despite amending its debt facility and seeing an 'encouraging' pace of bookings as governments lift restrictions.

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