StockMarketWire.com - UK stocks held on to early gains on Tuesday as investors took heart from China's efforts to contain the spread of the deadly coronavirus and prop up its economy with stimulus measures.

At 12:12, the benchmark FTSE 100 index was up 90.61 points, or 1.2%, at 7,416.92.

Oil major BP gained 4.3% to 472.1p, even as it booked a 26% on-year fall in fourth-quarter profit owing to lower oil and gas prices.

The profit numbers, while lower, still beat market expectations and BP also bumped up its dividend by 2.4%.

Enterprise software group Micro Focus International sank 17.8% to 811.2p on reporting lower annual earnings that fell short of its expectations, after revenue slipped towards the deeper end of its guidance range.

Micro Focus International also announced that chairman Kevin Loosemore would stand down on 14 February, after 15 years in the role, and be replaced by Greg Lock.

Miner and commodities trader Glencore rose 4.4% to 231.4p after a boost in annual cobalt output helped offset a fall in its copper production.

Gulf-region-focused healthcare group NMC Health rallied 1.1% to £10.4 after claiming that it knew of no specific reason for a fall in its share price on Monday.

An independent review of the company, triggered by a critical report of its balance sheet by short seller Muddy Waters, was continuing to proceed.

Plumbing and heating products distributor Ferguson firmed 5.6% to £72.9 as it revealed a share buy-back of up to $500m, and said it was mulling shifting its primary listing to the US.

Defence technology group QinetiQ advanced 3.6% to 369p, having reiterated guidance for annual revenue growth of a high single-digit percentage.

QinetiQ also said it had acquired training and simulation solutions provider Newman & Spurr Consultancy for £14m.

Industrial and electrical product distributor Electrocomponents rose 4.8% to 703.6p, even as it reported relatively modest revenue growth of 2% in the first four months of the year, citing an uncertain economic backdrop.

Electrocomponents also said that chief executive Lindsey Ruth was set to return to the helm on 10 February following temporary leave due to illness.

Budget carrier Ryanair edged back 0.1% to 15.84c on announcing that it flew 5% more passengers during the month of January on-year.

Low-cost carrier Wizz Air descended 0.6% to £41.4, despite it carrying 23% more passengers during January, having added new routes to Russia, Austria and Bulgaria.

Broking house Numis fell 1.2% to 285.5p despite 'material' growth in revenue during the first fourth months of its financial year.

Live date company WANdisco shed 6.5% to 400p as it missed its annual revenue expectations, blaming some deals slipping into 2020.

Security system developer Petards slumped 20% to 9.9p, having warned of a full-year pre-tax loss, after a key customer delayed an order.


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