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, prompting fears over the economic impact on the travel and luxury sectors.

At 16.30, the benchmark FTSE 100 index was down 176.07 points, or 2.3%, at 7,409.91.

Pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca dropped 2.1% to £74.89, 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 0.7% to £21.4, 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 1.7% to 233.5p, 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 firmed 1.6% to 371.5p, as it booked a 21% rise in annual profit, boosted by higher contract fee income.

Spire Healthcare softened 1.1% to 132.5p 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 8.8% to 9.7p, 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 softened 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 14.5% to 59p as it forecast a full-year loss pinned on a rise in lead generation costs.

Gambling technology platform Nektan jumped 15.3% to 3.2p even as its shares returned to trading on AIM accompanied by news that losses for the year through June 2019 deepened to £9.2m.




Story provided by StockMarketWire.com