StockMarketWire.com - UK stocks took another beating on Monday as countries around the globe enforced further social distancing measures to combat the spread of the coronavirus.

At 1201, the benchmark FTSE 100 index was down 4.16% to 4,974.93.

LARGE AND MID CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Oil and gas giant Royal Dutch Shell gained 1% to £10.43 after it announced it would halt its share buyback programme and cut spending to counter the impact of the virus and a recent slump in oil prices.

Shell said it had decided not to continue with the next tranche of its share buyback following the completion of the current tranche.

Primark owner Associated British Foods slumped 7.7% to £16.23 having revealed it would lose £650m a month in sales following the closure of all Primark stores.

Television broadcaster ITV sank 10.2% to 56.7p after announcing that restrictions on work practices to limit the coronavirus outbreak were having a 'significant impact' on its ability to film productions.

ITV also said it had now seen further deferrals in advertising spend from clients in other advertising categories rather just travel.

Educational publisher and services group Pearson slipped 11.6% to 441.4p, on announcing that it too had decided to pause a share buyback.

Home improvement retailer Kingfisher gained 7.1% to 135p as it pulled its final dividend, citing 'unprecedented uncertainty' caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Temporary power supplier Aggreko fell 2.6% to 355p warned that although the impact of coronavirus on the group had so far been limited, 'there is now significant uncertainty around future demand across several sectors and geographies.'

Irn-bru maker AG Barr gained 3.6% to 448.5p despite warning of weaker demand following 'significant challenges' in the hospitality sector.

After the Financial Conduct Authority issued a statement on Saturday requesting listed companies observe a moratorium on the publication of preliminary financial statements, AG Barr said it would comply 'despite our state of readiness to report.

SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Fashion retailer Ted Baker slumped 20.1% to 138.3p, even as it agreed to sell its head office in London, known as the Ugly Brown Building, to a unit of British Airways Pension Trustee for £78.8m.

Ted Baker, however, also said the 'vast majority' of its retail stores and concessions were now closed, representing about 68% of its global retail sales.

Hand sanitiser company Byotrol soared 44% to 5.15p after it said it has seen a very substantial spike in demand for its range of infection protection products over the last seven weeks.

Bus and rail operator Go-Ahead surged 8.9% to 708p after it revealed 75% of its revenues are contractually protected and so unaffected by changes in underlying travel demand. It also suspended its interim dividend of 30.17p per share, saving £13m.

Fellow bus and rail firm FirstGroup jumped 7% to 40.9p as it also revealed a high degree of protected revenues, and also pointed to £650m in untapped liquidity.

But rival bus group Stagecoach reversed 3.4% to 59.3p, having warned on profits and announcing it was unlikely to pay a final dividend, with the company having a lower proportion of protected revenue.

Luxury watch retailer Watches of Switzerland dropped 13.7% to 182.8p as it warned of lower-than-expected sales, having shuttered its stores in the US and now in the UK.

Suit retailer Moss Bros edged 0.3% higher to 19.38p as it decided to temporarily close all of its stores.

Tools and equipment hire group Speedy Hire dropped 12.4% to 40.9p, having warned its annual profit was expected to be 'slightly below' market consensus as the spreading coronavirus hurts demand.

Looking further ahead, Speedy Hire said the full impact of the coronavirus outbreak would depend on the length and severity of disruption.

Ten pin bowling alley operator Ten Entertainment shed 1.2% to 128.4p, on confirming that it had closed all of its sites in compliance with the UK government's response to the coronavirus pandemic.


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