StockMarketWire.com - UK stocks opened substantially lower on Tuesday after oil plays were hit by a crude price slump, as Covid-19 lockdowns sap demand for energy in an already-oversupplied market.

At 0820, the benchmark FTSE 100 index was down 90.36 points, or 1.6%, at 5.722.47.

Shell fell 4.0% to £12.894 and BP declined 5.3% to 286.3p.

Mining and oil giant BHP softened 3.6% to £12.506 as it also warned the Covid-19 crisis would crimp steel production volumes this year.

BHP nevertheless reiterated its annual iron ore production guidance, while putting its copper and coal guidance under review.

Smaller oil producer Tullow Oil sank 9.7% even as it appointed Delonex Energy founder Rahul Dhir as its new chief executive.

Primark-owner Associated British Foods slipped 3.2% to £19.22, having scrapped its interim dividend after a write down on the value of its inventory due Covid-19 lockdowns dented its profits.

Bourse operator London Stock Exchange gained 3.4% to £77.98 on reporting a rise in first-quarter income, led by increased equity trading and higher clearing activity.

LSE also said it would still pay a final dividend for 2019.

Wealth manager Quilter fell 2.5% to 112.55p as its assets under management fell 8% in the first quarter, thanks to net inflows being offset by a negative market performance.

Quilter also said it was dropping its 2020 margin guidance in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis, but still intended to pay a final dividend for 2019 and continue a buyback.

Utility services provider Telecom Plus dropped 5.3% to £11.78 after its profits came in at the lower end of its guidance.

Telecom Plus said it still planned to pay a final dividend for the 2019 financial year.

Pharmaceutical company Halma added 1.5% to £21.21, having maintained its guidance on profit, though adding results would likely have a significant second-half weighting.

Video game producer Sumo fell 1.8% to 176.7p, despite swinging to a full-year profit.

Sumo said it wasn't furloughing any employees as Covid-19 lockdown measures increase people's appetite for gaming.

Budget carrier Wizz Air descended 1.5% to £26.68 despite confirming that it was an eligible issuer under a UK government finance facility designed to assist businesses during the Covid-19 crisis.

Specialist brick maker Michelmersh Brick jumped 8.4% to 103p as it began to recommence production across its manufacturing plants.

Document management group Restore shed 0.9% to 386.67p, having scrapped its 2019 final dividend and furloughing 40-50% of its workforce.

Infrastructure services provider Nexus Infrastructure fell 5.4% to 166.5p as it furloughed 713 employees, or 87% of its workforce, having closed down site-based activities in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis.

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