UK stocks traded lower midway through the session on Monday, with oil companies weighing, as mounting Covid-19 cases stoked fears of a short-lived recovery in the global economy.

At 11.35, the benchmark FTSE 100 index was down 41.66 points, or 0.66%, at 6,248.64.

LARGE AND MID CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

BP (BP.) dropped 1.6% to 302.45p and Royal Dutch Shell (RDSB) 1.3% to £12.24 amid a fall in crude prices.

Pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca (AZN) gained 2.6% to £94.28 as investors anticipated a positive update later today on the firm’s joint venture with Oxford University to produce a coronavirus vaccine.

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) reversed 9.2p to £16.51 as it invested £104m for a 10% stake in biotech company CureVac, while both companies agreed to develop vaccines and antibodies targeting infectious diseases.

Healthcare investor Syncona (SYNC) rose 0.5p to 254.5p 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.

SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Respiratory drug developer Synairgen (SNG:AIM) soared 360% to 168.5p, 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 18.25% to 7.93p 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 2.5% to 40.66p, 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 2.4% to 265p, having booked a 43% drop in first-half profit and scrapped its interim dividend.

Communications services provider Gamma Communications (GAMA:AIM) rallied 6.5% to £15.65 on announcing that it expected its annual earnings and revenue to beat market expectations.

Brake-pad supplier Surface Transforms (SCE:AIM) advanced 3.9% to 27p after guiding for a 55% jump in first-half sales, despite the impact of the Covid-19 crisis on its customers.

Self-care consumer goods group Venture Life (VLG:AIM) leapt 20.8% to 87p as it boosted its first-half revenue 80%, while inking eight new distribution pacts.

Invoicing software group Tungsten (TUNG:AIM) ticked up 7.5% to 42.45p, 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