After rallying over 1% this morning, the FTSE 100 swung the other way on Tuesday afternoon to close deeply in the red, as a surging pound and plummeting US consumer confidence dragged the index down.

The UK’s benchmark index closed 1.11% lower to 6,037.01, with the exporter-heavy index – full of companies who report in US dollars – hit by the pound’s rise against the dollar.

Also weighing on markets both in London and Wall Street was the latest CB Consumer Confidence index reading in the US. Instead of rising to 93.0 as expected, it came in at a six-year low of 84.8.

LARGE AND MID CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Industrial software supplier Aveva (AVV) rose 7.25% to £46.46 as investors embraced news that it had agreed terms to acquire California-based rival OSIsoft for $5 billion, including debt.

Aveva said it planned to raise around $3.5 billion from a share issue to help fund the deal.

Pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca (AZN) added 0.19% to £86.27 on announcing that the first participants had been dosed in a first-phase trial of a potential antibody-based treatment for Covid-19.

Marine service provider James Fisher and Sons (FSJ) dropped 9.3% to £11.16, having cut its dividend after reporting a plunge in first-half profit owing to a sharp decline in energy prices and the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Furniture retailer DFS Furniture (DFS) jumped 10.7% to 166p on announcing that recent trading had been stronger than expected, as consumers spend more on their homes during the pandemic.

Still, DFS said significant uncertainty related to Covid-19 and the potential impact of Brexit made it 'exceptionally difficult to assess the outlook beyond the short term'.

Iron ore producer Ferrexpo (FXPO) fell 3.25% to 184.6p after it appointed existing director Lucio Genovese as its new chairman, to replace the outgoing Steve Lucas.

SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Marketing group Next 15 Communications (NFC:AIM) surged 27.1% to 469p, having boosted its first-half adjusted profit 16% and forecast a full-year result 'materially higher' than current market expectations.

Next 15 Communications also said it was 'reviewing the exact timing' of a resumption of dividend payments.

Virtual reality content creator MelodyVR (MVR:AIM) gained 2.6% to 4.41p after it announced that it had agreed to acquire Rhapsody International, which trades as Napster, in a reverse takeover deal.

MelodyVR would pay around $26.3 million to the vendors of Napster, comprising $15 million in cash and the issuance of about 200 million MelodyVR shares.

Defence contractor TP (TPG:AIM) gained 4.06% to 6.92p on the back of news that it had acquired air-space management group Osprey Consulting Services for up to £3.5 million.

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Issue Date: 25 Aug 2020