UK stocks closed slightly lower on Monday, despite positive Covid-19 vaccine news over the weekend from AstraZeneca and Pfizer. At 16:30, the benchmark FTSE 100 index was down 0.1%, at 6,032. Pfizer chief executive Albert Bourla said on Sunday that the US company's Covid-19 vaccine could be distributed to Americans before the end of the year. AstraZeneca, meanwhile, announced it had resumed British clinical trials of its Covid-19 vaccine following a brief pause that was caused by a participant experiencing an adverse reaction. The shares dipped 0.4% to £84. Brake technology group Surface Transforms soared 71% to 41.9p on news that it had won a large contract with a global vehicle manufacturer. Surface Transforms also upgraded its annual revenue guidance and said it would increase its headcount to handle the new work. Shares in security group G4S surged 25% to 182p after receiving all cash offer of 190p by the world's largest privately-owned security services company, GardaWorld. Music and audio products group Focusrite rallied 11% to 817p, having guided for annual earnings ahead of expectations amid a 52% jump in sales. Investment group City of London firmed 6.3% to 405p after funds under management rose 2% in the year to 30 June and it raised the ordinary dividend for the year to 30p compared with 27p previously. Investment company HgCapital Trust added 3.6% to 285p as it posted a positive first-half performance and lifted its dividend. HgCapital Trust declared an interim dividend of 2.0p per share, up from 1.8p on-year. Specialist recruitment company SThree climbed 1.4% to 250p, despite its net fee revenue slumping 14% in the third quarter, owing to the Covid-19 crisis. SThree, however, also said there had been an improving underlying sequential performance since the half year and that it had brought some staff off furlough. Telecom group Vodafone shed 0.7% to 109.5p after it announced that due diligence had been 'substantively completed' with regards to a potential sale of its 55% stake in Vodafone Egypt to Saudi Telecom. RNA-focused therapy developer Silence Therapeutics dropped 1.5% to 461p after posting a deeper first-half loss on higher R&D spending and appointing Mark Rothera as its new chief executive. Rothera was previously CEO of Orchard Therapeutics and had also served as chief commercial officer of PTC Therapeutics. Pub chain JD Wetherspoon dropped 2.6% to 902p on reporting that its sales over the weekend were 22.5% below the equivalent Saturday last year. Wetherspoon chairman Tim Martin also critisised the press for what he claimed were 'negative views' about the risk pubs pose to the spread of Covid-19. Payments group PCI-PAL dropped 5.0% to 38p having posted a full-year loss after a rise in sales was offset by investment in its growth plans. Vaccine delivery system developer N4 Pharma plunged 36.6% to 6.1p as it revealed disappointing study results for a potential Covid-19 treatment.
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