London open: Stocks fall amid renewed coronavirus worries
London stocks fell in early trade on Tuesday following strong gains in the previous session, amid renewed concerns about rising coronavirus infections.
At 0840 BST, the FTSE 100 was down 0.8% at 6,237.06.
Worries about the Covid-19 outbreak weighed on sentiment, with new cases in the US growing in states such as Florida, Texas and Arizona. In Australia, meanwhile, cases in Melbourne are on the rise.
Oanda analyst Jeffrey Halley said: "Australia's Covid-19 hotspot in Melbourne is apparently prompting the State of Victoria to consider a new four-week state-wide lockdown. Covid-19 cases continue spiking in Australia's second most populace state. The Australian Dollar has immediately moved lower, and stocks have quickly given up the day’s gains.
"It is a sagely warning of the economic danger that Covid-19 continues to inflict on the world. Sadly, if the situation in the United States and across Latin America can't ram that message home, nothing probably will."
In equity markets, Premier Inn owner Whitbread was in the red as it said UK first quarter like-for-like sales slumped, reflecting the full impact of the coronavirus lockdown, although it reported good summer demand for tourist destinations. Like-for-like sales for the three months to May 28 fell 79.8% across Whitbread’s British hotel and pub estate, while total group sales fell 79.4%.
Going the other way, JD Sports Fashion was the top riser on the FTSE 100 as it said footfall was weaker in stores reopened after lockdown and called for "rental realism" from landlords but reported record profit for the year to the start of February. Pre-tax profit for the year ended on 1 February rose 3% to £348.5m as revenue rose 30% to £6.1bn.
Contracts-for-difference platform Plus500 surged after it appointed David Zruia as chief executive and reported bumper first-half trading and customer gains returned to normal levels after a costly spike.
Elsewhere, Hikma Pharmaceuticals was boosted by an upgrade to ‘overweight’ at Morgan Stanley
FTSE 100 - Risers
JD Sports Fashion (JD.) 686.00p 1.69%
Hikma Pharmaceuticals (HIK) 2,253.00p 1.30%
GVC Holdings (GVC) 796.40p 0.94%
Barratt Developments (BDEV) 533.40p 0.76%
Auto Trader Group (AUTO) 533.40p 0.64%
Tesco (TSCO) 220.20p 0.59%
Coca-Cola HBC AG (CDI) (CCH) 1,979.50p 0.33%
Halma (HLMA) 2,345.00p 0.30%
Polymetal International (POLY) 1,580.00p 0.29%
Rolls-Royce Holdings (RR.) 281.60p 0.25%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Whitbread (WTB) 2,362.00p -3.20%
Smith (DS) (SMDS) 280.80p -2.57%
HSBC Holdings (HSBA) 399.10p -2.34%
3i Group (III) 845.40p -2.08%
Standard Chartered (STAN) 448.50p -1.92%
Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS) 122.95p -1.72%
Imperial Brands (IMB) 1,493.00p -1.68%
British American Tobacco (BATS) 3,081.50p -1.60%
Barclays (BARC) 115.44p -1.59%
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 224.50p -1.54%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Plus500 Ltd (DI) (PLUS) 1,425.00p 6.74%
Helios Towers (HTWS) 158.60p 4.34%
AJ Bell (AJB) 394.50p 1.02%
Petropavlovsk (POG) 25.30p 1.00%
IP Group (IPO) 64.70p 0.94%
Howden Joinery Group (HWDN) 555.20p 0.87%
Convatec Group (CTEC) 199.70p 0.81%
Greggs (GRG) 1,645.00p 0.80%
Smithson Investment Trust (SSON) 1,524.00p 0.79%
Civitas Social Housing (CSH) 110.00p 0.73%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Aston Martin Lagonda Global Holdings (AML) 46.50p -4.87%
Energean (ENOG) 552.00p -4.00%
Micro Focus International (MCRO) 422.60p -3.67%
Hammerson (HMSO) 87.30p -3.41%
Drax Group (DRX) 261.80p -2.89%
Equiniti Group (EQN) 145.80p -2.80%
Fisher (James) & Sons (FSJ) 1,362.00p -2.71%
TUI AG Reg Shs (DI) (TUI) 383.20p -2.62%
Chemring Group (CHG) 246.50p -2.57%
Wood Group (John) (WG.) 199.65p -2.56%