StockMarketWire.com - UK stocks made substantial gains in early trading on Tuesday amid continued hopes that the spread of coronavirus may be leveling out in major hotspots in Europe and the US.

At 0825, the benchmark FTSE 100 index was up 164.24 points, or 2.9%, at 5.746.63.

The rally came despite the local political outlook being clouded by the admission of Prime Minister Boris Johnson into intensive care with worsening Covid-19 symptoms.

Cinema group Cineworld bounced 23% to 48.82p, even as it suspended its dividends after shuttering all its cinemas in 10 countries thanks to government-imposed lockdowns.

Online contracts for difference broker Plus500 rallied 5.7% to £11.7088, having recorded a big jump in first-quarter revenue as intense market volatility encouraged more trading activity.

Home repairs group HomeServe added 5.9% to £11.12 after it forecast better-than-expected profit results in the year through March 2020 owing to 'strong' growth in its membership business.

HomeServe , however, also said it was cutting spending due to uncertainty created by the Covid-19 crisis and wouldn't make a decision on a dividend payment until May.

Motor insurer Sabre Insurance found 2.2% to 277.5p, despite reporting an 8% fall in annual profit in a 'challenging' year characterised by tougher regulatory, technological and claims management pressures.

Flexible office space provider Workspace eased back 0.3% to 677.5p, having announced that it would consider later in the year whether to pay a final dividend.

Premier Oil rose 7.4% to 26.95p, even as it confirmed that a well in Alaska had turned up disappointing results. Its smaller partner in the well, 88 Energy, plunged 76% to 0.26p.

Book and convenience retailer WH Smith climbed 2.2% to £11.18 after it successfully raised about £165.9m through a planned share placing to help it weather the Covid-19 crisis.

News shares in WH Smith were issued at £10.94 each, a reasonably shallow 4% discount to their closing price on Monday.

High performance plastics producer Victrex firmed 5.7% to £19.87 on announcing that it was still reviewing whether to pay future dividends in light of the Covid-19 crisis.

Victrex also said trading in the six months through March had been 'solid' and in line with its expectations.

House builder Vistry advanced 11% to 662p after its partnerships division exchanged contracts with Homes England on a portfolio of six developments that would provide more than 570 new homes across the country.

The portfolio had a gross development value of £105m.

Ingredients and flavouring supplier Treatt jumped 15% to 484.21p, having experienced strong demand in recent weeks as customers meet requests for beverages consumed at home and cleaning products amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Cell-based therapeutics developer ReNeuron gained 6.0% to 115.5p as it signed a research agreement with a 'major pharmaceutical company' that it didn't name.

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