StockMarketWire.com - UK stocks recovered some of their losses on Tuesday afternoon but still closed in the red as global stocks fell on mounting concerns about the spread of a new strain of coronavirus in China.

Chinese authorities confirmed that a fourth person has died and that the virus could be spread from person-to-person.

Investors were reminded of the economic damage done by the SARS virus in 2002-2003, particularly given the threat of contagion as hundreds of millions travel for the Lunar New Year holidays.

At the close the benchmark FTSE 100 index was down 41 points or 0.5%, at 7,610.7 points.

In corporate news, mining titan BHP fell 1.3% to £18.17 as it reported flat first-half production, with rising iron ore and copper output offset by falling oil and gas production.

Other mining stocks also saw heavy selling over fears for the Chinese economy, with Evraz the biggest FTSE faller down 5.8% to 401p and Antofagasta down 2.4% to 953p.

Energy giant BP dropped 0.6% to 490.5p after announcing that chief financial officer Brian Gilvary would retire at the end of June and be replaced by Murray Auchincloss, currently CFO of BP's upstream segment.

Telecom company TalkTalk was off 0.7% at 113.6p as it announced the sale of its broadband business to CityFibre Infrastructure for £200m.

Budget airline Easyjet was having a better day, ascending 4.9% to £15.21 after it upgraded its revenue outlook citing robust passenger demand and lower competition.

Dixons Carphone firmed 5.2% to 150p, even after it corrected its Christmas trading statement to show total sales down 2% instead of up 2% as originally reported.

Strength in the company's electrical business, in particular large-screen TVs, compensated for a continued decline in mobile phone sales.

Travel-location convenience store group SSP firmed 3% to 684p after its first-quarter revenue rose 6.3% and it stuck to its full-year profit guidance.

AIM-listed energy services and compliance firm Sureserve added 2% to 44.5p after it more than doubled its annual profit.

Clinical AI technology group Sensyne Health rallied 1.8% to 49.9p even as it posted a first-half loss, owing to a rise in R&D and administrative costs.

Advanced materials group Velocity Composites added 1.5% to 42.1p on receiving approval from Boeing to supply structural composite material kits for the aircraft manufacturer's single-aisle narrow-body jet platform.

Housing-sector support provider Mears rallied 1.4% to 294p after guiding for a 16% rise in underlying annual revenue, driven by its acquisition of MPS.

Mears also said it was at 'an advanced stage' in a planned sale and exit from its domiciliary care operations.

Broking house IG gained 0.7% to 690p despite reporting profit down 10% in the first half, after revenue was impacted by regulatory changes and it incurred higher expenses.

IG also announced the departure of chief financial officer Paul Mainwaring.






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