StockMarketWire.com - UK stocks opened substantially lower on Monday after the spread of coronovirus in countries outside of China, including South Korea and Italy, stoked global pandemic fears.

At 0818, the benchmark FTSE 100 index was down 157.44 points, or 2.1%, at 7.246.48.

Associated British Foods fell 2.2% to £25.254 after the owner of the Primark budget clothing chain said the coronavirus outbreak could cause shortages in its supply chain.

Daily Mirror and Daily Express newspaper publisher Reach defied the gloom, gaining 3.4% to 180.6p, as cost cutting offset falling sales to help it swing to a full-year profit.

Reach also said it was targeting a rise to 7m registered customers by the end of 2022, up from less than 1m at the end of 2019, as part of a strategy update.

Outsourcing company Bunzl gained 0.9% to £19.655, having reported a rise in annual profit even as revenue was held back by a weaker performance in North America.

Veterinary pharmaceuticals company Dechra Pharm shed 2.6% to £27.28, even as its half-yearly profit more than doubled.

Dechra Pharm also warned of supply challenges in its North America business.

Infection prevention product manufacturer Tristel rallied 4.4% to 412.5p as it posted a 25% rise in first-half profit that it said exceeded its expectations.

Tristel also said the coronavirus outbreak would be a 'powerful influence' for greater global investment in infection prevention and control.

Vehicle telematics services provider Quartix fell 1.2% to 430p, having booked a decline in annual profit owing to sales slumping in its insurance division.

Research tool manufacturer Oxford Instruments slipped 2.5% to £15.70 after it sold its OI Healthcare business in the US to MXR Imaging for $15.0m (£11.5m).

Cell-based therapeutics developer ReNeuron added 1.8% to 145p on recording positive long-term data from a trial of a treatment for retinitis pigmentosa.

Pesticides company Plant Health Care sank 26% to 10.5p as it launched a share issue to raise at least $4m, at 8p a share.

Recruitment company RTC reversed 0.7% to 75p after it posted a 5.4% fall in annual profit as rising revenue was more than offset by higher expenses. At 8:28am:

[LON:ABF] Associated British Foods PLC share price was -39p at 2544p

[LON:BNZL] Bunzl PLC share price was +38.5p at 1987p

[LON:DPH] Dechra Pharmaceuticals PLC share price was -59p at 2741p

[LON:RCH] Reach Plc share price was +6.7p at 181.3p

[LON:TSTL] Tristel PLC share price was +17.5p at 412.5p



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