StockMarketWire.com - UK stocks slumped on Monday as the Chinese death toll from a coronavirus outbreak rose to 81 and new cases were reported around the world.

At 13.10, the benchmark FTSE 100 index was down 159.4 points, or 2.1%, at 7,426.58.

Pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca dropped 2.1% to £74.94, despite its gastric cancer and stroke treatments meeting clinical trial goals.

AstraZeneca also announced that it had agreed to sell the global commercial rights to its hypertension drugs, while recovering the rights from Allergen for a Crohn's disease treatment.

Environmental technology group Halma fell 0.5% to £21.6, on announcing that it had acquired US-based NovaBone, a designer and manufacturer of bone graft products, for an initial $97m (£74m).

Halma also acquired a 70% stake in Australia-based FireMate for up to A$18.2m (£9.4m).

Automotive fluid systems maker TI Fluid Systems reversed 1.3% to 234.5p, despite forecasting annual free cash flow above its previous expectations.

TI Fluid Systems also said the rest of its results would be in line with its most recent guidance.

Specialist recruitment firm SThree shed 0.1% to 365p, even as it booked a 21% rise in annual profit, boosted by higher contract fee income.

Spire Healthcare softened 0.3% to 134p after announcing that it didn't expect to have a material financial exposure to legal claims being made against a doctor suspended from one of its UK hospitals.

Petra Diamonds dropped 12% to 9.4p, even as its output rose 3% in the first half and it said it was on track to either meet or exceed its full-year production guidance.

The company's revenue, however, slipped 6% on lower gem prices and mixed product quality.

Specialist aerospace and defence engineer TP Group fell 0.6% to 7.9p, despite having forecast substantial revenue and adjusted earnings growth, in line with market expectations.

Replacement door and window provider Safestyle UK slumped 13% to 60p as it forecast a full-year loss pinned on a rise in lead generation costs.

Gambling technology platform Nektan jumped 18% to 3.24p even as its shares returned to trading on AIM accompanied by news that losses for the year through June 2019 deepened to £9.2m.

Nekten, however, also said it still expected to reach break-even, at the operating earnings level, by the end of the current financial year amid a jump in business-to-business revenue.

Simec Atlantis Energy fell 2.7% to 10.22p after it said a turbine at the MeyGen tidal energy project in northern Scotland was due to undergo maintenance.

Rock-drilling tool specialist Mincon was flat at 87.5p on news that chief operating officer and former chairman Peter Lynch was standing down to pursue other interests and move closer to his family in Dublin.

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