StockMarketWire.com - UK markets continued to rally in late morning trading as investors continued to bet on a sharp economic recovery, with the UK and other countries around the world increasingly easing lockdown restrictions.

The UK's benchmark FTSE 100 saw its early thrust taper marginally but the index remained close to a full 1% higher at 6,397.72 at 11.45am. That will leave the FTSE 100 on for a rough 2.5% weekly rise if it is able to hang on to those gains through the afternoon session.

The firm end to the week mirrors the firm Friday showing of major markets across Europe, and surges seen on Asian markets overnight.

The FTSE 100 leader board was dominated by a swing of positive sentiment towards otherwise embattled travel and engineering stocks, led by cruise operator Carnival's 11.5% surge to £13.315.

Grocery delivery and technology firm Ocado was the day's biggest FTSE loser, down 3.5% at £20.63, albeit against a very strong run during lockdown.

HOUSEBULER RECOVERY

Housebuilder Taylor Wimpey gave investors something to cheer after restarting construction on the majority of its sites in England and Wales, with Scottish sites preparing for a return of activity.

The company said in an update that it was on track to reach 'meaningful' production capacity from the end of June. That overshadowed news that total completions in the 22 weeks to 31 May slumped from 4,052 to 2,455 year-on-year.

Outside the blue chips, copper miner KAZ Minerals plunged more than 11% to 441.85p after upping the budget needs for its Baimskaya project in Russia to $7bn. The company had originally estimated spending $5.5bn.

Waste management company Biffa was also very weak, falling more than 7% to 244p after it cancelled its final dividend to conserve cash. That was despite saying that profit had more than doubled, driven by strong performance in its collections business, and higher margins.

Shared office space group Workspace rose 3% to 813.5p after it hiked its annual dividend by 10%, supported by a boost in rental income that underpinned a rise in adjusted profit.

Workspace said it had experienced a significant slowdown in enquiries from the end of March, with 75% of customers receiving a 50% rent reduction offer until the end of June.

Oil and gas play Premier Oil rallied nearly 13% to 35.86p having agreed a discounted price of $210m for its planned acquisition of the Andrew and Shearwater assets in the North Sea from BP.

Premier Oil also reached a settlement agreement with largest creditor ARCM, which would see ARCM issued about 82.2m shares, representing an 8.9% stake in the company, at 26.69p per share.

Materials manufacturer Morgan Advanced Materials jumped 7% to 25p, even as its year-to-date sales dropped 8.8% on an organic and constant currency basis.

Morgan Advanced Materials also said cost cutting measures would save £20m per annum by 2022 but come with an upfront cost of £30m. It didn't specify if the measures included job cuts.

REVOLUTION ON AIM AND CASH CALL

Cocktail bar group Revolution Bars tumbled 23% to 26.5p as it launched an up to £15m equity raising, at 20p per share, to cut debt and help it weather the Covid-19 crisis.

Concrete-levelling technology group Somero Enterprises recovered earlier losses to gain close on 2% to 215p after furloughing about a fifth of its workforce, while warning it would miss its revenue expectations due to the pandemic.

Engineering services company Wood Group climbed 4% to 231.3p after announcing that it was targeting a 40% reduction in its carbon emissions by 2030.

Specialist engineer Renishaw reversed earlier gains to slip 1.5% lower to £40.44 despite deciding not pay a final dividend for its current financial year through June.

Ventilation products supplier Volution advanced 6% to 175.5p on announcing that its performance in the UK had improved, with activity at 65% of prior-year levels in June, up from 30% in April.

Tech group WANdisco gained a little more than 2% to 798p, having won a contract with a US airline group that it didn't name.


At 12:08pm:

[LON:CCL] Carnival PLC share price was +128.75p at 1323.25p

[LON:KAZ] Kaz Minerals PLC share price was -47.5p at 449.5p

[LON:OCDO] Ocado Group PLC share price was -27.5p at 2108.5p

[LON:RBG] Revolution Bars Group Plc share price was -8.5p at 26p

[LON:TW.] Taylor Wimpey PLC share price was +3.55p at 162.3p



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