StockMarketWire.com - UK stocks resumed trading after an extended Easter break, closing with losses on Tuesday, despite signs Covid-19 infection rates were stabilizing in major disease hotspots.

At 16:30, the benchmark FTSE 100 index closed down 0.9%, at 5,791.92.

Cocktail bar owner Revolution Bars jumped 42% to 22p after lender NatWest agreed to up the size of a debt facility to help it weather the Covid-19 crisis.

Virtual reality technology company VR Education surged 29% to 10p after it signed a partnership agreement with US-based virtual animal dissections content creator VictoryXR.

Pharmaceuticals company AstraZeneca rallied 6.8% to £76.1 after it revealed that it was assessing the potential of an existing blood cancer drug to treat Covid-19 patients.

AstraZeneca also reported positive results from a trial of a lung cancer treatment, and, in addition, said a venture with Merck had gained US approval for a treatment for the rare condition neurofibromatosis.

Fashion retailer Next gained 2.5% to £47.4 as it reopened its online businesses 'in a very limited way', having implemented additional Covid-19 safety measures and consulted with staff and the relevant union.

German business park investor Sirius Real Estate gained 2.5% to 70.7p on reporting that only a small number of tenants experiencing difficulties due to the Covid-19 crisis had requested a deferral of rental and service charge payments.

The collection of rent and service charge income for the month of April had remained 'relatively robust', Sirius said, with over 75% of billing collected by working day seven, representing about 90% of the normal working week.

Aerospace and defence contractor Ultra Electronics climbed 1.2% to £19.7 even as it decided to delay the payment of its 2019 final dividend, citing uncertainty caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Specialist lender Paragon Banking fell 0.5% to 341p as it decided not to pay an interim dividend.

Paragon Banking said it planned to consider an appropriate dividend for the year as a whole with its full-year results in November.

Landscape products group Marshalls shed 2.5% to 633.5p despite announcing that it was poised to source an additional £90m of debt funding from its banking syndicate.

Marketing platform Dotdigital lost 3.2% to 92p on confirming that business from it existing customers continued to grow, though it flagged a slowdown in securing new customers due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Pub and restaurant owner Mitchells & Butlers lost 9.4% to 201.5p, having requested a temporary waiver of its debt obligations as it furlouged more than 99% of its staff.

Exhibition company Hyve fell 11.8% to 25.9p after confirming media speculation that it was planning an equity raising to shore up its balance sheet.

Recruitment consultancy Nakama plunged 43.7% to 31p, having announced that although its cash position remained 'tight' it was confident it could survive through the Covid-19 storm.

Nakama warned that its performance for the year through March 2020 would be 'marginally below' its previous expectations.




Story provided by StockMarketWire.com