UK stocks continued to fall throughout trading on Friday morning, having been led down by the airlines after the Government’s sudden decision to quarantine arrivals from France, the Netherlands and Malta.

The new quarantine rules for British travellers helped take the shine off what had been a strong week of stock market gains that were mostly powered by bets of more economic stimulus.

Also disappointing investors on Friday was as an unexpected dip in Chinese retail sales, which have dashed hopes for a swift post-pandemic recovery.

Retail sales dropped 1.1% year on year, missing predictions of a 0.1% rise and following a 1.8% fall in June, as consumer caution appeared to prevail.

The benchmark FTSE 100 was down 1.8% at 6,073.61, with investors also treading water ahead of a weekend meeting between Chinese and US officials to review progress on their Phase 1 trade pact.

Banks, energy, and aero-related stocks also pulled back after leading gains all week.

NEW FUNDING FOR AIRLINE

Budget airline EasyJet (EZJ) slumped 6.56% to 570.7p, after the company said it would continue to assess further funding opportunities after raising an extra $266 million from the final leg of a sale and leaseback of aircraft.

Today’s new quarantine rules are also working against the whole sector.

Ryanair (RYA) fell 4.83% to €11.52 and British Airways-owner International Consolidated Airlines (IAG) slid 5.9% to 192.35p.

Equities investor Murray International Trust (MYI) shed 1.6% to 948p, having posted a negative first-half performance that missed its benchmark, though it held its dividend steady.

The trust’s net asset value total return per share for the six months through June was negative 10.7%. It kept its dividend at 12p per share.

Property investor NewRiver REIT (NRR) rose 1.8% to 62.2p on announcing that its rent collection continued to improve, with 80% of second-quarter rent having either been collected or had alternative payment terms agreed.

SMALL CAP WRAP

Fashion retailer Quiz (QUIZ:AIM) rallied 20.45% to 7.48p after it agreed an extension of its existing banking facilities with HSBC, upping them to £3.5 million, from £1.75 million.

Security services provider Westminster (WSG:AIM) fell 5.96% to 8.46p as it swung to a modest first-half profit after the provision of safety and fever-screening systems for Covid-19 helped offset a collapse in the airline sector.

Brazil-focused miner Serabi Gold (SRB:AIM) firmed 1.66% to 92p, having booked a higher first-half profit after lower costs and higher gold prices helped offset a fall in production owing to the coronavirus pandemic.

Lead, zinc and silver developer Europa Metals (EUZ:AIM) jumped 17.69% to 19.12p after it booked 40% increase in the indicated resource estimate at its Toral project in northwest Spain.

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Issue Date: 14 Aug 2020