UK stocks ended Monday’s trading session modestly lower as worries over the size of future financial packages in Europe and the US overshadowed positive Covid-19 vaccine and treatment data and oil companies also weighed on sentiment. London’s benchmark FTSE 100 index closed down 28.78 points, or 0.46%, at 6,261.52.

LARGE AND MID CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

BP (BP.) dropped 2% to 303.2p and Royal Dutch Shell (RDSB) 1.9% to £12.17 amid a fall in crude prices.

Pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca (AZN) gained 1.45% to £93.20 after it said a potential Covid-19 vaccine generated a ‘robust’ immune response against the SARS-CoV-2 virus in all participants, in a trial being led by Oxford University.

Drugs giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) reversed 11.8p to £16.48 as it invested £104 million for a 10% stake in biotech company CureVac, while both companies agreed to develop vaccines and antibodies targeting infectious diseases.

Healthcare investor Syncona (SYNC) slid 1% lower to 251.5p after portfolio company Freeline Therapeutics filed a registration statement regarding a proposed initial public offering in the US. Freeline was a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on gene therapy targeting the liver.

Magazine publisher Future (FUTR) firmed 8.4% to £13.11 as it guided for full year numbers at the top end of expectations.

SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Respiratory drug developer Synairgen (SNG:AIM) soared 429% to 193p, having announced positive results from a trial of a treatment for hospitalised Covid-19 patients, which it described as a potential ‘major breakthrough’.

The trial showed the inhaled treatment greatly reduced the number of patients who progressed from requiring oxygen to requiring ventilation. Patients also were at least twice as likely to recover to the point where their everyday activities were not compromised.

Guarantor loans provider Amigo (AMGO) plunged 27.4% to 7.04p on warning about its financial future after swinging to a loss, as loan impairments jumped amid the Covid-19 pandemic and it faced fines from regulators.

Oil company Premier Oil (PMO) slipped 3.5% to 40.26p, even as it signed new agreements for the acquisition of BP’s Andrew and Shearwater assets in the North Sea, at a reduced sum from the original sale price.

Recruitment company SThree (STEM) slipped 3.9% to 261p, having booked a 43% drop in first-half profit and scrapped its interim dividend.

Communications services provider Gamma Communications (GAMA:AIM) rallied 8.2% to £15.90 on announcing that it expected its annual earnings and revenue to beat market expectations.

Self-care consumer goods group Venture Life (VLG:AIM) leapt 16.7% to 84p as it boosted its first-half revenue 80%, while inking eight new distribution pacts.

Invoicing software group Tungsten (TUNG:AIM) ticked up 7.6% to 42.5p, even as its annual revenue grew 2%, helping it to meet operating earnings guidance.

Cell-based therapeutics developer ReNeuron (RENE:AIM) gained 1.8% to 139.25p after it booked a full-year loss owing to progress on the development of its treatments, including for the eye condition retinitis pigmentosa.

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Issue Date: 20 Jul 2020