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

At 1158, the benchmark FTSE 100 index was up 2.92%, or 162.98 points, at 5,745.37.

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


Cinema group Cineworld bounced 35.4% to 53.62p, even as it suspended its dividends after shuttering all its cinemas in 10 countries thanks to government-imposed lockdowns.

Book and convenience retailer WH Smith climbed 6.5% to £11.65 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.

Online contracts for difference broker Plus500 gained 1.6% to £11.26, having recorded a big jump in first-quarter revenue as intense market volatility encouraged more trading activity.

Home repairs group HomeServe rallied 11% to £11.65 after it forecast better-than-expected profit results in the year through March 2020 owing to 'strong' growth in its membership business.

However it also said it was cutting spending due to uncertainty created by the coronavirus crisis and wouldn't make a decision on a dividend payment until May.

Motor insurer Sabre Insurance increased 3.3% to 280.5p 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 soared 11.6% to 758.5p having announced that it would consider later in the year whether to pay a final dividend.

House builder Vistry advanced 15.1% to 689.5p 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.

High performance plastics producer Victrex firmed 2.4% to £19.25 on announcing that it was still reviewing whether to pay future dividends in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

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


Premier Oil rose 18% to 29.6p even as it confirmed that a well in Alaska had turned up disappointing results. Its smaller partner in the well, 88 Energy, plunged 69% to 0.34p.

Ingredients and flavouring supplier Treatt jumped 14.7% to 482p 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 10.3% to 120.25p as it signed a research agreement with a 'major pharmaceutical company' that it didn't name.

Story provided by