A recovery rally in utility stocks, following yesterday's negative news on returns from regulator Ofgem, helped the FTSE 100 eke out some gains by lunchtime on Friday. At midday the index was up 0.5% to 6,079.39 comfortably above the 6,000 mark it had flirted with early on. The picture was less positive across the Atlantic with futures markets suggesting the losses seen on Wall Street yesterday will be extended. In London Gym Group dipped 0.5% to 149.1p despite 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 4.7% to 57.8p, having reduced its headcount by another 12%, amid a 30% slump in first-half revenue. Wagamama and Frankie & Benny's owner Restaurant Group shed 11.3% to 47.5p, 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 up 0.8% to 613.4p 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 6.3% to 675p 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 18.1% to 84p 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 27.1% to 37.5p 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 gained 4% to 271.5p after amending its debt facility and seeing an 'encouraging' pace of bookings as governments lift restrictions.
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