StockMarketWire.com - The FTSE 100 moved into positive territory by lunchtime on Monday as optimism over a recovery increased across various sectors, including airlines and housebuilders.

The UK's benchmark index initially opened in the red after being weighed down by pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca falling on merger talk and investors taking profits on the recovery rally.

At 1215, the FTSE 100 was up around five points, or 0.1%, to 6,489.

LARGE AND MID CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

AstraZaneca dropped 2.47% to £82.19 after Bloomberg News reported that it had approached rival Gilead about a potential tie-up.

Gene and cell therapy group Oxford Biomedica rallied 4.4% to 808p, having signed a collaboration agreement with the UK's Vaccines Manufacturing and Innovation Centre (VMIC) to produce vaccines, including for Covid-19.

Contracts for difference trading house Plus500 sank 7.74% to £11.99 after record trading activity was offset by customers placing more winning bets, hitting its revenue.

Property investor Segro fell 1.5% to 879p having acquired a warehouse estate in Perivale, West London, from Federated Hermes for £202.5m.

Investment trust Edinburgh Worldwide fell 0.4% to 249p as it pulled its interim dividend even as its first-half performance topped its benchmark.

Clean fuel and energy storage company ITM Power fell 14.1% to 307p despite reporting a record order backlog of £52.4m, up 24% since 27 January. However, sales for the year ended 30 April 2020 fell 30% to £3m, impacted by coronavirus related delays.

Gas producer Energean gained 1.6% to 584p as work recommenced on a large floating production vessel at a shipyard in Singapore.

Wagamama and Frankie & Benny's owner Restaurant Group climbed 5.3% to 77.95p on confirming that it was in talks with landlords about potential restructuring options for its estate.

The company said it had noted press speculation that it could close a large number of Frankie & Benny's outlets, but did not comment specifically on any potential closures.

Fantasy video games developer and publisher Frontier Developments gained 0.6% to £19.52 after it confirmed a strong finish for its year to 31 May, with operating profit expected to be at least £16m on revenues of around £76m, both ahead of prior guidance.

SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Car dealership firm Lookers crashed 17% to 26.1p after it said it had concluded extra procedures were required for it to produce final 2019 results, meaning it won't now be possible to meet the FCA's 30 June deadline, resulting in a suspension of the shares on July 1.

The company is targeting the end of August as the earliest possible date for the accounts.

Consumer goods group UP Global Sourcing, also known as Ultimate Products, jumped 10% to 69.2p as it forecast underlying annual earnings above current market expectations.

Engineered electronics provider TT Electronics firmed 4.7% to 186.3p despite revenue falling 14% in the first five months of the year on an organic basis, due to Covid-19 disruptions.

Tools and equipment hire company Speedy Hire shed 3.33% to 58p on announcing that its revenue had fallen sharply in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis, though trading had steadily improved during May.

Carbon fibre reinforced ceramic materials manufacturer Surface Transforms raced 21.5% higher to 19.75p after it announced it had been selected as a tier one sole supplier of brake discs to high performance sports car maker Koenigsegg in a contract worth in excess of £5m.


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