- UK stocks fell further on Friday after US jobs data showed American employers shed 701,000 jobs in March as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

The unemployment rate in the world's biggest economy rose to a greater than expected 4.4%, the largest one-month jump since 1975. But job losses are now believed to be even worse given the data was collected by the US Department of Labour at the start of March.

The UK's benchmark FTSE 100 index closed 64.72 points, or 1.18%, lower at 5,415.50.


In company news, UK defence company BAE Systems gained 0.5% to 500p after it delayed a decision on its dividend and flagged 'significant' disruptions in the second quarter owing to the Covid-19 crisis.

Budget carrier Ryanair fell 0.33% to €8.52, having warned its annual profit would come in at the bottom end of its previous guidance range, while declining to provide guidance for the new financial year.

Ryanair also said it will a €300m hit in its 2021 accounts due to ineffectiveness of its fuel hedging, with the oil price currently trading around $27 a barrel.

It added that it is currently operating less than 20 daily flights and expected its fleet to remain largely grounded for at least April and May.

Bus and train group Stagecoach advanced 4.5% to 69.35p, even as it said it would propose no further dividends for its current financial year amid a drop off in demand for transport services.

Primark owner Associated British Foods increased 0.75% to £17.39 on announcing that its chief executive and finance director would take a temporary 50% pay cut.

Electronics component supplier XP Power advanced 3.6% to £26 after its first-quarter sales rose 4% and orders jumped 34%.

XP Power, however, still decided to scrap its 2019 annual dividend as a precuation.

Online trading platform CMC Markets fell 0.4% to 192.8p as it forecast its annual trading revenue to nearly double as contracts-for-difference investors punted on higher market volatility.

Specialist lender OneSavings Bank gained 0.9% to 191.7p, having cancelled its 2019 financial dividend, though adding that it remained 'highly liquid and well-capitalised'.


Oil company Tullow Oil soared 48% to 17.28p after its lending syndicate approved $1.9bn of company debt as part of a regular review of its finances.

Cell-based therapeutics developer ReNeuron rallied 12.47% to 106.85p as it initiated a research programme focused on the potential use of its technology as a delivery vehicle for viral vaccines, including for Covid-19.

IT services provider Redcentric increased 1.5% to 100p even after announcing that it was unlikely to pay a final dividend and had halted its share buyback programme until the Covid-19 situation became clearer.

Electrical components supplier TT Electronics fell 8.3% to 144p on news that it had appointed former Cobahm chief executive Warren Tucker as its new chairman, to replace Neil Carson.

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