StockMarketWire.com - The UK's flagship index has opened lower as the UK government prepares to lift the 2m distancing rule in a bid to boost the economy.

The FTSE 100's shaky start follows the US Federal Reserve's June FOMC meeting yesterday (10 June), at which chairman Jerome Powell announced the FOMC expects there to be no rate increases until 2022 and forecast that the US economy will contract by 6.5% in 2020, with the unemployment rate expected to end this year at 9.3%.

At 08.46am the FTSE 100 was down 2.3%, or 146.45 points, at 6,182.68, while the FTSE 250 was 2.5% lower at 17,169.96.

Johnson Matthey has fallen 3.1% to £21.23 on the news that the chemicals company has halved its dividend and said it would cut about 2,500 jobs after profit fell on lower demand for its pollution filters owing to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

The company proposed a final ordinary dividend for the year of 31.125p, representing half the level of the 2018/19 final dividend.

CMC Markets has soared 13.7% to 226.50p as the online trading platform hiked its dividend after reporting an increase in profit as higher volatility across markets increased trading activity and boosted income.

For the year ended 31 March, pre-tax profit jumped to £98.7m from £6.3m on-year as net operating income surged 93% to £252m.

Just Eat Takeaway.com is 2.2% higher at £77.90 following the announcement it would acquire Grubhub in a $7.3bn deal as the food delivery company looked to bolster its presence in the US.

Unilever has bounced 1.5% to £44.45 as it announced plans to unify its group corporate structure under a single parent company, Unilever PLC to create more 'strategic flexibility'.

Babcock has lost 6.6% to 381p after announcing pre-tax losses £178.2m compared with a profit of £235.2m on-year, and revenue fell to £4.45bn from £4.47bn on-year for the year to 31 March 2020.

The defence company said it would defer its decision on a final dividend until there was greater visibility on the impact to performance from the Covid-19 pandemic.

TalkTalk Telecom is 4.7% lower at 94.68 as it reported slightly lower revenue, while headline EBITDA grew 9.7% to £260m for the year to 31 March 2020 and warned of a £15m hit from COVID-19.

WPP has climbed 2% to 651.60 following the news that former Apple vice president and Burberry chief executive Angela Ahrendts has been appointed to the board.

Ocado has fallen 5.9% to £19.57 after the successful completion of a placing, retail offer and convertible bond offering raised over £1bn.



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