StockMarketWire.com - UK stocks gained on Wednesday as a fall in the rate of new coronavirus cases stoked hopes the worst of the outbreak may be over.

At 1205, the benchmark FTSE 100 index was up 0.37% to 7,527.38.

LARGE AND MID CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Homewares retailer Dunelm soared 7.4% to £12.90after it reported a 19% rise in first-half profit and upped its annual guidance, on the back of higher footfall driving increased sales.

Defence contractor Babcock International dropped 3% to 540p even as it upwardly tweaked its annual operating profit guidance.

The company, however, also warned of an £85m exceptional charge in its aviation and oil divisions.

Bonding products maker for the industrial and healthcare sectors Scapa sank 29.5% to 192p after it warned its annual profit would fall short of market expectations, citing cost pressures.

Contracts-for-difference trader Plus500 rose 4% to 947p, despite having posted a 62% drop in annual profit, blaming calm market conditions.

Plus500 said increased market volatility had driven an improved performance in the second half, with the momentum continuing into the current year.

Supermarket chain Sainsbury's moved 1% higher to 204p after announcing that the chairman of its banking unit, Roger Davis, was standing down.

Healthcare facility investor Primary Health Properties gained 0.5% to 162p, as it swung to a full-year loss owing to negative asset revaluations, though its adjusted earnings improved and it lifted its dividend 3.7%.

Polymetal International fell 0.3% to £12.90, despite it announcing a doubling of the ore reserves estimate at its Kutyn gold project in Russia.

SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Flooring retailer United Carpets plunged 12.4% to 4.6p having warned that its annual profit would miss current market expectations after a hoped-for bounce back after the decisive UK election result failed to materialise.

Language services provider RWS gained 5.55% to 596p on announcing that it was on course to deliver results in line with its expectations, and generate more cash than it had hoped, following several contract wins.


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