UK markets are downbeat as A-Level students in the UK prepare to receive their results, despite not having sat exams due to the pandemic. Meanwhile, elsewhere in the world, the number of coronavirus deaths in India has topped 47,000, making it the fourth worst country globally, while New Zealand has recorded another 13 new infections, forcing Auckland into lockdown. The FTSE 100 is down 0.8%, or 51.80 points, to 6,228.32 at 08.46am, while the FTSE 250 is 0.3% lower to 18,046.20. Travel company TUI has travelled down1.5% to 362p on the news that group revenue fell 98% to €75m as its business came to a standstill in the third quarter. It reported that while hotel volumes remain significantly lower than usual summer levels, there were 'encouraging signs' of customer demand, with average occupancy of 23% this summer. Retirement products provider Just Group has soared 13.4p to 57.7p after saying it expected 'significantly higher' sales in the second half of the year, as it reported that first-half profit more than doubled driven by investment and economic profits owing to the fall in interest rates. National Express has decelerated 12.3% to 154.4p after the bus and train company saw falls in revenue and posted an underlying pre-tax loss as Covid-19 caused passenger demand to plunge 80% in the first half of 2020. The company said while there were 'encouraging early signs of demand' as services gradually restarted, activity remained at 'suppressed levels'. GVC ticked up 0.03% to 785.6p as it announced strong online gaming revenue partly offset weakness in retail, helping it swing to a first-half profit. The sports betting company reported an underlying pre-tax profit of £24.8m compared with a loss of £12.3m on-year, while revenue fell 10% to $1.58bn in the six months ended 30 June 2020. Croda has declined 0.4% to £59.94 on the news the chemical company has now completed the acquisition of Avanti Polar Lipids, following approval from the US regulatory authorities. Helios Towers has bounced 1.2% to 180p as pre-tax losses widened in the six months to 30 June 2020 to $83m from $18.7m on-year, while revenue rose 7% to $204.0m, boosted by continued growth in the number of sites and tenancies across the group.
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