The FTSE 100 opened weaker on Friday for a fourth straight day of decline, dropping 0.4% to 6,026 as record spikes of virus infections in Hong Kong and Tokyo fuelled fears of a second wave hitting Asia. In the US death rates hit record levels in the states of Florida, Arizona, Texas and California.

Trading across Asia was weak with the Nikkei 225 giving up 1% and China’s Shanghai Composite down 1.8% after a stellar run earlier this week.

Oil prices were also weak with Brent Crude prices 1.5% lower at $41.7 dollars a barrel while Gold drifted 0.2% lower to trade at $1,799 per ounce. The pound was slightly lower against the US dollar at $1.25.

Senior (SNR), the supplier of components to the aerospace, defence and energy sectors, said it had reduced its headcount by another 12% amid a slump in revenue owing to the Covid-19 crisis.

Revenue for the six months through June had fallen 30% and margins were significantly lower. The company withdrew its 2020 guidance, sending the shares 2.7% lower to 59p.

In a trading update for the quarter ended June 30 property company Great Portland Estates (GPOR) said it had collected 69% of June rents including deposits compared with 82% in March.

The group added that it had substantial headroom above debt limits such that values could fall 68% before a breach was triggered. The shares fell 0.6% to 606p.

Shares in maritime surveillance company SRT Marine Systems (SRT:AIM) jumped 15% higher to 34p after it said its Philippines fisheries management system had restarted leading to a significant cash payment.

It also reported that the transceivers business had performed better than expected with gross first-quarter sales 2% ahead of last year.

Also higher today were shares in global music and audio products company Focusrite (TUNE:AIM) up 8% to 685p after the board reported revenues and profits were ahead of its expectations and likely to beat market expectations for the year ended 31 August 2020.

Demand for Focusrite Audio Engineering and ADAM Audio products had been strong during the lockdown as sales were driven through e-commerce platforms rather than physical stores.

At the interim results announcement in May the board deferred making a decision to pay a dividend due to uncertainty but positive recent cash flows has prompted the company to pay an interim dividend of 1.3 pence per share, up 8.3% on the prior year.

Property development and plant hire firm Abbey (ABBY:AIM) reported that full year pre-tax profits had fallen 38% to €33 million for the period to 30 April, impacted by lockdown in March.

Sales and production activity had resumed at reduced levels in May and the group was trading profitably in the current financial year. The shares dropped 5% to £11.8.

Medical diagnostics company Genedrive (GDR:AIM) has been one of the best performing shares this year, gaining 376%, but today it slumped 12% to 90p after reporting full year revenues to the end of June of £1 million, down 58% on Covid-19 related delays.

The company’s recent fund raising means it had cash balances of £8.2 million at the period end.

A Full list of gainers and losers can be found HERE

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Issue Date: 10 Jul 2020