StockMarketWire.com - UK stocks jumped at the open on Friday, paring a portion of recent historic losses, as governments continued to approve large stimulus measures designed to buffer economies from the spreading coronavirus.

At 0824, the benchmark FTSE 100 index was up 220 points, or 4.3%, at 5.371.81.

Clothing and food retailer Marks & Spencer fell 4.7% to 110.6p after it scrapped its dividend, warned on profits and foreshadowed a 'severe impact' from Covid-19 on its clothing business.

Pub chain JD Wetherspoon jumped 27% to 708p, having posted a 15% rise in first-half profit on the back of 5% growth in like-for-like sales.

The company, however, pulled its interim dividend and warned it expected its full-year profit to fall short of market expectations.

Builders' merchant Travis Perkins added 6.3% to 739p, despite announcing that it had suspended its dividend and paused the planned demerger of its Wickes DIY chain until market conditions settled.

Accommodation supplier InterContinental Hotels jumped 14% to £27.20, even as it warned its revenue per room could plummet 60% in March.

On a more positive note, the company said demand had started to recover in China, where the spread of the coronavirus has been curtailed.

Infrastructure investor 3i Infrastructure firmed 3.8% to 203.61p, on announcing that it was on track to meet its dividend target.

Theatre and film advertising group Reach4entertainment Enterprises gained 11% to 0.25p, even as it said it was reducing employee costs among other mitigating measures to combat a slump in demand caused by Covid-19.

Reach4entertainment said the sudden closure of all live venues on Broadway and in London's West End in the past week meant it expected a material reduction in trading from March onward.

Software provider to the transport sector Tracsis reversed 8.2% to 430p, on forecasting a rough road ahead for its events and traffic analytics businesses.

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