StockMarketWire.com - UK stocks gave up their early gains on Wednesday, falling slightly in spite of a surprise 0.5% interest rate cut by the Bank of England and a big fiscal spending boost by the Chancellor to buffer the economy from the coronavirus.

At 12.45pm the benchmark FTSE 100 index was down 0.2% at 5,946 points, pulled lower by airline and energy stocks.

The Bank of England's move was well received by the house-builders, with Persimmon, Land Securities and Taylor Wimpey all gaining 3% on hopes of a surge in demand thanks to lower mortgage rates.

Construction firm Balfour Beatty rallied 15% to 253p as it hiked its dividend by a third on the back of a stronger annual profit and revenue performance.

Wealth management group Quilter rose 7.2% to 143p, despite swinging to a full-year loss owing to higher tax charges.

Quilter also posted a flat underlying performance that it said beat its expectations, while warning that the coronavirus had added uncertainty to its outlook.

Intellectual property-based businesses IP Group added 3% to 60.3p having reported narrower annual losses, as cost cuts helped offset a decline in net assets.

Concrete levelling technology company Somero Enterprises jumped 11% to 235p even as it posted a 7% fall in annual profit owing to a bout of wet weather in the US putting a dampener on sales.

Somero also said its performance had recovered faster than hoped in the second half as the weather improved.

Further down the market, AIM-listed Tiziana Life Sciences jumped 260% to 115p after it said it was speeding up development of a potential coronavirus treatment.

Wealth management and employee benefits group Mattioli Woods was unchanged at 787p after it agreed to acquire Hurley Partners from its shareholders for up to £25.6m.

In contrast, security contractor G4S tumbled 29% to 94p as it reported flat adjusted earnings, after spending on marketing and technology offset a rise in revenue.

G4S said the impact of the coronavirus on its business had so far been 'immaterial' and that it was continuing to monitor the situation.

Home collect credit provider Morses Club was another big loser, tumbling 28% to 75.2p after it warned that annual profits would be 18% to 23% below consensus market expectations.

Steam management system manufacturer Spirax-Sarco Engineering dipped 2.6% to £80.92, even as it reported an 8% rise an adjusted annual profit, underpinned by higher sales.

B2B information services provider and events company Euromoney shed 4.5% to 926p after warning that cancelling and postponing of several events due to the coronavirus outbreak would weigh on its revenues.




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