- An afternoon rally fizzled out as the FTSE 100 closed well into the red on Thursday, weighed down by negative macroeconomic news with total unemployment claims in the US now worse than expected.

The UK's benchmark index closed 0.64%, or 40.97 points, lower to 6,341.44.


Luxury carmaker Aston Martin Lagonda reversed 3.2% to 66.5p after it said it would cut up to 500 jobs in a bid to turn around performance in the wake of falling sales.

Euromoney gained 8.27% to 838p despite the information business reporting that first-half profit fell by nearly a quarter as the Covid-19 impact on its events business and ongoing headwinds in its asset management businesses weighed on performance.

Food and beverage concessions group SSP fell 1.84% to 309.4p after it successfully placed 3.3m new shares at a price of 315.2p, raising approximately £11m.

Asset manager Intermediate Capital Group fell 7.58% to £12.81 as it reported a rise in net assets, but said that profit fell more than a third as valuations were hurt by the coronavirus pandemic. For the year ended 31 March, pre-tax profit fell 37% to £114.5m on-year.

Young & Co.'s Brewery declined 0.87% to £11.40 on the news that the closure of its pubs for the final 10 days of the financial year due to COVID-19 and the preceding downturn in trade resulted in an estimated £13m shortfall in revenue.

In the 52 weeks to 30 March 2020, total group revenue was 'encouragingly' up 2.6% to £311.6m.

Utilities firm Pennon dropped 4.95% to £11.34 as it warned that it expects non-household revenue to reduce in 2020-21 as a result of the financial impact of COVID-19, with a risk from credit losses.

But it confirmed its £4.2bn sale of Viridor to KKK is on track for completion in early summer.

Veterinary pharmaceutical firm Dechra gained 1% to £27.74 after announcing it had raised gross proceeds of £133.4m through the placing of shares at a discount.

Online trading platform IG Group edged 0.5% higher to 800p as it said it expected revenue in the fourth quarter to top its previous guidance as 'high levels' of client activity continued to bolster trading fees.

Park Plaza owner PPHE Hotel fell 1.67% to £11.75 on the news that it plans to open selected hotels across the Netherlands and the UK through a phased approach from June and July.

But the group warned that 'a large number of redundancies may be necessary' in the UK.

Racing game video games specialist Codemasters edged 1.16% higher to 350p after announcing Project CARS 3 will be released this summer for PlayStation4 and Xbox One family of devices.

Specialist fund manager Impax Asset Management fell 6.33% to 370p despite reporting half year revenues up 22% to £41.2m and operating profit up 36% to £10.5m driven by a record inflow of £1.8bn in new assets.


LED lighting manufacturer Luceco lit up 13.7% to 119.4p as it announced expected profit and cash generation in the first half of the year to be 'at least as strong' as that of last year, with adjusted operating profit expected to be at least in line with last year's £7.2m.

Car dealership firm Lookers gained 11.75% to 26p after it said it would cut up to 1,500 jobs as it looked to close more of its sites in the UK amid plans to deliver savings of about £50m. Bars to restaurants group Loungers fell 1.4% to 130.6p after it said it had opened 17 sites for takeout with a further 10 to open in the next week.

After polling its customers 98% said they would be comfortable visiting the Lounge and Cosy Club venues when government restrictions were lifted.

Biotherapeutics company Avacta gained 7.22% to 148.5p after it announced its intention to raise up to £45m by placing 37.5m new shares in an institutional placing and retail offer at a 4.4% discount to the 30 day volume weighted average price, being 125.3p.

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