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London midday: Stocks maintain losses amid coronavirus concerns

By Michele Maatouk

Date: Monday 10 Feb 2020

London midday: Stocks maintain losses amid coronavirus concerns

(Sharecast News) - London stocks were still a little weaker by midday on Monday amid ongoing concerns about the spread of the coronavirus, as the UK declared it a "serious and imminent threat" to the public.
The FTSE 100 was down 0.3% at 7,447.40.

Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell, said: "News that the number of deaths from the coronavirus has exceeded those from the SARS outbreak in 2003 appears to have given investors pause for thought on Monday.

"China is, in theory, returning to work today after an extended New Year holiday aimed at containing the virus, but not all factories are coming back online yet. The pace of this process could be telling in the eventual economic impact of the health crisis so markets are likely to be following events closely.

"One of the first announcements on the Chinese economy since the outbreak began was released this morning, notably showing a big rise in inflation as food prices soared. And with the World Health Organisation warning that we may only have seen the tip of the iceberg in terms of coronavirus cases outside China, equities still look vulnerable to further weakness."

On home shores, the Department of Health said in a statement said it had designated Arrowe Park Hospital in Merseyside and Kents Hill Park in Milton Keynes as an "isolation" facility. Wuhan and Hubei province in China were declared an "infected area" by health secretary Matt Hancock.

This came as the death toll in China rose to 908, with more than 40,000 cases confirmed globally, eight of which are in the UK.

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesman said: "We are strengthening our regulations so we can keep individuals in supported isolation for their own safety and if public health professionals consider they may be at risk of spreading the virus to other members of the public.

"This measure will rightly make it easier for health professionals to help keep people safe across the country."

In equity markets, budget airline easyJet flew lower, while Premier Inn owner Whitbread fell after a downgrade to 'sell' at Goldman Sachs.

More broadly, worries about the impact of the coronavirus were weighing on travel and hotel stocks, with cruise operator Carnival also in the red.

Going the other way, shares of NMC Health surged as it confirmed it had received "highly preliminary" approaches from Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. and GK Investment Holding Group regarding possible offers for the company. The Middle East hospital operator also said its founder and chairman BR Shetty is conducting a legal review into potential historical inaccuracies relating to his own stake in the firm and those of three other shareholders.

Travelex owner Finablr, which shares its chair and co-founder with NMC Health, was also sharply higher.

William Hill gained following a Sunday Times report that the company is in the final stages of announcing a landmark US partnership with national broadcaster CBS.

Market Movers

FTSE 100 (UKX) 7,447.40 -0.26%
FTSE 250 (MCX) 21,503.89 0.02%
techMARK (TASX) 4,139.86 -0.18%

FTSE 100 - Risers

NMC Health (NMC) 779.40p 11.34%
Barratt Developments (BDEV) 817.40p 2.25%
Next (NXT) 6,896.00p 1.95%
Standard Life Aberdeen (SLA) 323.00p 1.86%
Persimmon (PSN) 3,093.00p 1.64%
Smurfit Kappa Group (SKG) 2,982.00p 1.50%
Schroders (SDR) 3,420.00p 1.18%
Ashtead Group (AHT) 2,664.00p 1.10%
British Land Company (BLND) 565.20p 1.07%
Hargreaves Lansdown (HL.) 1,619.50p 0.93%

FTSE 100 - Fallers

Hikma Pharmaceuticals (HIK) 1,845.00p -3.50%
Vodafone Group (VOD) 150.80p -1.46%
Rentokil Initial (RTO) 495.30p -1.30%
easyJet (EZJ) 1,491.00p -1.29%
Whitbread (WTB) 4,562.00p -1.23%
Carnival (CCL) 3,084.00p -0.96%
Evraz (EVR) 394.00p -0.88%
Informa (INF) 793.80p -0.87%
BP (BP.) 466.00p -0.85%
Unilever (ULVR) 4,657.50p -0.82%

FTSE 250 - Risers

Finablr (FIN) 77.20p 7.97%
Jupiter Fund Management (JUP) 385.80p 3.04%
Micro Focus International (MCRO) 795.50p 3.03%
William Hill (WMH) 178.10p 2.92%
Rank Group (RNK) 304.00p 2.36%
Kainos Group (KNOS) 870.00p 2.35%
IP Group (IPO) 67.10p 1.82%
Wood Group (John) (WG.) 381.70p 1.79%
Marston's (MARS) 104.90p 1.75%
Balfour Beatty (BBY) 271.60p 1.72%

FTSE 250 - Fallers

Future (FUTR) 1,180.00p -5.60%
Sirius Minerals (SXX) 5.40p -2.35%
Barr (A.G.) (BAG) 579.00p -2.20%
Pantheon International (PIN) 2,470.00p -2.18%
Games Workshop Group (GAW) 7,190.00p -2.18%
B&M European Value Retail S.A. (DI) (BME) 367.40p -2.16%
Grafton Group Units (GFTU) 919.00p -2.08%
888 Holdings (888) 134.00p -1.98%
Clarkson (CKN) 2,990.00p -1.97%
SSP Group (SSPG) 655.00p -1.80%


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