StockMarketWire.com - UK stocks finished Wednesday's trading session higher after a 50-basis-point interest rate cut by the US Federal Reserve raised hopes that governments around the globe would green light stimulus in a bid to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus.

Markets managed to cling onto their rebound, despite the IMF slashing its GDP forecasts after stating that 'global growth in 2020 will dip below last year's levels'.

At 16.35, the benchmark FTSE 100 index closed up 97.39 points, or 1.45%, at 6,815.59.

LARGE AND MID CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

General insurer Legal & General lost 0.9% to trade at 262.8p, despite posting a 16% rise in underlying pre-tax profit, as coronavirus fears weigh on the insurance sector's prospects.

Low-cost carrier Wizz Air rose 2.3% to £34.61 after it announced that it had cuts flights, particularly to Italy, and could slice capacity by 10% in the June quarter thanks to the disease outbreak.

Packaging company DS Smith gained 0.9% to 325.4p, having enjoyed growth in like-for-like corrugated box volumes in the second half of its financial year.

Infrastructure products supplier Hill & Smith advanced 4.9% to £14.43 as it reported a higher annual profit on the back of more US work, though growth was restrained by writedowns and restructuring costs at its Scandinavian operations.

Mining company Polymetal International firmed 2.8% to £13.02 after it posted a 36% rise in annual profit and hiked its dividend 71%, having benefited from higher gold and silver prices.

Follow miner Anglo American firmed 1.6p to £19.05, even after it reported a reduction in diamond sales pinned partly on the coronvirus cutting demand in key luxury goods markets likes China.

Africa-focused fuel retailer Vivo Energy reversed 3.1% to 100.8p, having recorded a 3% rise in annual profit.

Vivo Energy also said it was continuing to review the status of its business in Morocco, where margins have been hurt by government-imposed fuel-price caps.

SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Intu Properties plunged 35% to 6.94p after the shopping centre owner's plans to strengthen its balance sheet fell through as uncertainty in equity and property investment markets put a number of investors off participating in a planned equity placing.

Finance provider to property developers Urban Exposure jumped 13.6% to 67p after it confirmed media speculation that was in exclusive talks with Pollen Street Capital regarding a potential disposal of its loan book.

The deal would trigger a liquidation of Urban Exposure, which said its investors could get 'in the region of 73p per share'.

Gifting-to-creative play products maker IG Design advanced 2.3% to 763p after the company insisted it is on track to meet market expectations following its seasonal trading period and having successful completed its CSS acquisition. IG Design also assured it doesn't expect to see a material impact on forecasts from the coronavirus outbreak.

Nanomaterials developer Nanoco tumbled 48% to 13p on announcing that it had terminated talks with some of the parties that had expressed an interest in acquiring the company.

Nanaco said it was continuing to engage with 'a number' of parties to establish whether they were prepared to make a firm offer.

Payments company PCI-PAL slumped 15.7% to 35p as it reported a first-half loss and warned of a deeper-than-expected loss for the full year, blaming contract delays.

Electronic component manufacturer TT Electronics raced 8.9% higher to 208p, having posted a rise in annual profit, as it boosted sales at its aerospace, defence and medical divisions.

The company, however, warned the coronavirus could wipe £3m from its underlying operating profit in 2020.


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