StockMarketWire.com - UK stocks continued to tumble on Monday as investors remained unconvinced by stimulus measures from central banks around the world.

A co-ordinated effort to ease the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak saw the US Federal Reserve cut interest rates to almost zero and announce a giant bond-buying campaign, accompanied by central bank action from the UK, Eurozone, Japan, Switzerland and Canada.

But it seemingly failed to reassure investors, with the bloodletting accompanied by a bevy of updates from local companies warning of a potentially devastating impact of the coronavirus on their bottom lines.

At 1150, the benchmark FTSE 100 index was down 7%, or 380 points, to 4,988.40.

LARGE AND MID CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Budget airline EasyJet descended 18.5% to 641p after it warned that rolling flight cancellations could lead to the 'majority' of its entire fleet being grounded.

In a chilling admission, EasyJet, which has one of the stronger balance sheets in the business, also said there was no guarantee that 'the European airlines' will survive a long-term travel freeze.

Jet2 owner Dart group plunged 33.3% to 581p after cancelling all flights to Spain as the country goes into lockdown over the spread of the coronavirus. Spain accounts for about half of Jet2's seat total.

British Airways owner International Consolidated Airlines fell 24% to 266p as it plans to reduce capacity by at least 75% in April and May compared to the same period in 2019.

Budget carrier Wizz Air plummeted 22.8% to £21.10 as it suspended all flights to and from Poland, after the Eastern European country imposed travel restrictions.

Wizz Air said the Polish travel affected 20% of its capacity.

Elsewhere, Rio Tinto fell 6% to £30.78, on announcing that the development of its Oyu Tolgoi copper mine in Mongolia has been slowed by government restrictions imposed to combat the spread of the coronavirus.

B&Q and Screwfix owner Kingfisher reversed 16.9% to 113.5p as it shuttered its stores in France and Spain.

Associated British Foods slid 12.7% to £16.01, even as it upgraded its profit outlook for the first half, citing margin improvements at its Primark budget clothing chain and grocery business.

The company, however, also warned it would not be able to mitigate a loss of sales at Primark caused by the Covid-19 outbreak.

Its share price did briefly fall to 0.01p, with trading in the shares suspended for an hour, following a technical glitch. It has been reported that the glitch may have occurred due to a trader hitting the wrong button on their computer.

Gambling company Flutter Entertainment sank 15.6% to £54.68, having warned on profit after multiple sports fixtures globally were cancelled or postponed as governments worldwide battle to contain the Covid-19 outbreak.

Online broker Plus500 shed 7.2% to 719p, despite forecasting revenue and profitability for the full year to be substantially ahead of current consensus expectations, due to the recent bout of market volatility.

Student accommodation developer Unite lost 14.3% to 805.5p on announcing that it would operate a reduced programme of summer business in 2020, given the risk of disruption to bookings from the coronavirus.

Alternative asset and corporate business services provider Sanne fell 11.5% to 423.5p after it agreed to sell its Jersey-based private client business to JTC for up to £12m.

SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Recruitment firm SThree slumped 7.7% to 232.5p as it reported a 3.6% fall in fee revenue in the first quarter of its financial year.

Food court operator and publisher Time Out dropped 20.8% to 64.5p after it closed five of its markets in Lisbon and the US.

Security contractor Westminster was initially a rare bright spot as its share price rose in early trading, but by midday it had fallen back and plunged 12.5% to 7p despite news that it had sold more fever detection equipment in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.

Alternative fuel developer Quadrise Fuels International slumped 36.1% to 1.37p after a pilot project to test its product in Morocco was delayed due to the spreading disease.


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