StockMarketWire.com - After gaining over 3% earlier in the day, UK stocks retreated alongside sagging US markets, which appeared to run out of steam. Overnight, Asian stock markets were buoyed by expectations that co-ordinated central bank actions will buffer the economic damage caused by the spreading coronavirus.

At 16:30, the benchmark FTSE 100 index was up 0.3%, at 5,985.77 points.

Defence contractor Ultra Electronics rallied 9.4% to £20.9 as it more than doubled its annual profit and raised its dividend 5%, having won new contracts, particularly in North America.

Pizza delivery chain Domino's Pizza rose 7.9% to 307p on news that it had appointed Matt Shattock as its new chairman.

Shattock was currently chairman of Beam Suntory, a role he had held since April 2019.

Publishing company Informa gained 6.2% to 599.4p after it reported a rise in profit, with revenue boosted by its merger with UBM and favourable currency moves.

Informa did, however, warn the coronavirus would affect its events-related businesses.

Digital education services provider Learning Technologies gained 4.7% to 135p, having agreed to acquire Open LMS from Blackboard for $31.7m.

Wealth manager Standard Life Aberdeen added 2.8% to 246p, even as it posted a 10% fall in adjusted annual profit, after net outflows from its funds sapped it of fee revenue.

Standard Life Aberdeen said the outlook for markets and the wealth management industry in 2020 was 'turbulent', given additional complexity created by the coronavirus.

Inter-dealer broker TP ICAP gained 1.8% to 360.9p, on booking a 50% rise in annual profit following the completion of a three-year merger integration programme.

TP ICAP also warned of an uncertain macroeconomic backdrop as the coronavirus spreads.

Engineering company Wood Group, which is heavily exposed to oil markets, moved 0.4% higher to 273p, as it swung to a full-year profit and bumped up its dividend 1%.

Video games developer Team17 closed flat at 515p despite doubling its annual profit, after it released seven new games in 2019 and also boosted sales of third-party titles.

Fund manager M&G, which was recently spun out of insurer Prudential, eased 0.7% to 171.3p, as it posted a fall in adjusted annual profit, having experienced net outflows from its funds.

Auto dealer Marshall Motor reversed 2.4% to 140p, having posted a fall in annual adjusted profit as 'challenging' market conditions put pressure on its margins.

Oil producer Cairn Energy added to Monday's heavy losses, falling a further 12.6% to 72.6p, despite reporting a full-year profit on the back of higher production and revenue.

Struggling apparel retailer French Connection said its annual results fell short of its expectations despite reporting narrower losses as revenue continued to fall amid a gloomy backdrop for retailers on the UK High Street. Its shares were pummelled 24% to 14p.




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