- London's FTSE 100 ended Monday's trading session in positive territory despite ongoing fears about the damage the Covid-19 crisis is doing to the global economy and company earnings.

European markets managed to pull up from intraday lows despite a bad open from the Dow Jones, which proved slightly better than the plunge suggested by futures.

At 16.35, the blue chip benchmark was up 10.89 points, or 0.19%, at 5,797.85.

Mr Kipling cakes and Oxo stock cubes producer Premier Foods soared 24.5% to 40.7p on announcing that it expected to report a trading profit at the top end of market expectations.

Premier Foods also announced a pensions deal that could reduce its contributions by 45%.

Furniture retailer DFS rallied 10% to 143.8p as it confirmed media reports that it was in the advanced stages of negotiating £60m-to-£70m of additional debt and was also preparing for a possible equity raise.

House builder Redrow slipped 5% to 388.4p, even as it announced that it had secured more debt from its lenders and also confirmed that it was eligible to tap UK government financing support.

Pub owner Marston's cheapened 3.3% to 39p despite having agreed a waiver on its debt covenants.

Bingo hall and casino company Rank climbed 4% to 173.6p after it announced that it had furloughed about 7,000 employees to save costs during the disease pandemic.

Rank said it would await more clarity on the Covid-19 situation before deciding whether to pay its next planned dividend.

Lift science research tools provider Abcam gained 6% to £12.25 despite it warning on revenue, citing government imposed lockdowns hurting its performance in North America and EMEA.

Cash-strapped drug delivery technology company Midatech Pharma dropped 4.2% to 23p after it announced that it was considering a potential sale of the company as part of an ongoing strategic review.

Midatech Pharma hired Noble as a financial adviser to assist in a search for potential acquirers or partners.

IT services provider SysGroup added 1.9% to 26.5p on forecasting its annual adjusted earnings for the year through March 2020 would double, though it warned the Covid-19 crisis could cause contract renewal delays.

Disease test kit supplier Omega Diagnostics surged 21.4% to 34.6p, having signed an agreement to provide manufacturing support for a Covid-19 immunity test being developed by Mologic.

Billing software group Cerillion surged 16.1% higher to 245p after it said it expected to report a rise in first half earnings and that it had not experienced an slowdown in trading activity related to the Covid-19 crisis.

Financial services group WH Ireland was steady at 43.5p as it confirmed press speculation that it was in talks to potentially acquire corporate finance assets from Cantor Fitzgerald.

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