- UK stocks tracked sideways at the open on Tuesday as optimism sparked by tentitive government efforts to re-open economies were offset by disappointing results from bellwethers BP and HSBC.

At 0824, the benchmark FTSE 100 index had nudged up 1.36 points to 5.848.15.

BP dropped 1.8% to 308.25p as its underlying profit sank by two thirds in the first quarter, indicating the damage that falling oil prices are doing to the world's oil majors.

HSBC reversed 1.6% to 409.55p after the lender warned of a 'material reduction' in profit this year, having reported a 48% plunge in first-quarter earnings.

HSBC pinned the fall on the Covid-19 crisis, a collapsing oil price and higher-than-expected credit provisions.

Clothing and food retailer Marks & Spencer shed 0.5% to 93.9p on announcing that it did not expect to pay any dividends for the 2021 financial year as the Covid-19 crisis crunches its sales.

Marks & Spencer said it had also negotiated some covenant waivers and relaxations with is lenders.

Builders' merchant Travis Perkins firmed 1.7% to £10.37, despite its sales slipping 4.6% in the first quarter and even more severely in April.

Travis Perkins also said it was re-opening some outlets to service customers that were emerging from construction site lockdowns.

Online trading house Plus500 added 5.5% to £13.0675 as it continued to enjoy a heightened level of customer trading activity due to market volatility caused by the Covid-19 crisis.

Engineering company Weir rose 0.7% to 874.8p, even as it scrapped its 2019 final dividend and said its orders fell 13% in the 2020 first quarter.

Lower oil prices have hurt Weir's oil and gas division, but it said a resilient performance at its mining division was buffering the blow.

Litigation funder Burford Capital rallied 20% to 487.3p, having touted further portfolio gains ahead, as the aftermath of the Covid-19 crisis was expected to lead to 'significant demand' for its litigation services.

Miniature war games manufacturer Games Workshop jumped 9.2% to £58.10 despite warning of a lower annual profit owing to store closures.

The company, however, was still selling games online and re-opening some stores in China, Holland and Scandinavia as lockdowns were lifted.

Disease test kit supplier Omega Diagnostics fell 0.8% to 60.01p, despite it signing a supply agreement for HIV rapid tests with Clinton Health Access Initiative. Story provided by