Investors retained their optimism following the agreement of an EU stimulus package with the FTSE 100 index rising 0.5%  to 6,291.48 by lunchtime.

US futures markets suggested the strength would extend to Wall Street as investors await the latest announcements from the second quarter earnings season.

Gambling firm GVC (GVC) fell 9.3% to 790.8p as it said it was 'surprised' that the UK tax authorities had extended its investigation into the company's former Turkish facing online gambling business.

Mining titan BHP (BHP) shed 3.4% to £17.36 after it boosted its quarterly iron ore production to a record, but warned the Covid-19 pandemic would hit demand for mineral and energy commodities in the coming financial year.

Broadband retailer TalkTalk (TALK) reversed 0.4% to 79.2p as its revenue fell 7.5% in the first quarter of its financial year, partly due to the Covid-19 crisis.

TalkTalk nevertheless stuck to its full-year guidance for 'stable to growing' adjusted earnings, having seen some recovery in demand in June and July.

Book publisher Bloomsbury Publishing (BMY) jumped 13.2% to 226.3p after its revenue climbed 18% in the first four months of its financial year, beating its expectations, as folks kept reading during lockdown.

Fashion retailer Ted Baker (TED) rallied 13.9% to 80.4p even as its revenue slumped 55% after it closed stores during the pandemic.

Ted Baker described the performance as 'resilient', while noting online sales growth of 34% was stronger than it had expected.

Information business Euromoney (ERM) gained 2% to 813p after it reported a slide in revenue for the nine months through June, as cancelled events weighed on its asset management business.

Bowling alley group Ten Entertainment (TEG) gained 0.8% to 154.8p on announcing that it would open all of its 39 English sites from the beginning of August, representing 91% of its revenue.

Train and bus ticket portal Trainline (TRN) advanced 8% to 431.2p after it appointed Jody Ford to the newly created role of chief operating officer.

Ford will join from personalisation business Photobox, where he was chief executive. Previously, he had spent 10 years at eBay.

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Issue Date: 21 Jul 2020