StockMarketWire.com - UK markets remained on the back foot at midday as fears of a second wave of Covid-19 infections resurfaced, despite the Bank of England announcing that it will pump an £1 billion of economic aid into the economy. That was at the low end of the £100 billion to £150 billion range anticipated by investors, explaining the negative reaction on stock markets.

The Bank's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) also kept interest rates at a record low of 0.1%.

The UK's benchmark FTSE 100 index saw losses accelerate in response, falling 0.6% to 6,219.48, declines almost matched by the FTSE 250's 0.4% reverse.

STOCKS TO WATCH

Taylor Wimpey was among the biggest FTSE 100 fallers after the house builder raised £522m of fresh equity overnight through a placing of 360 million new shares at 145p, a discount of 4% to last night's closing price.

Taylor Wimpey shares lost more than 6% at 142.2p.

Rival house builder Vistry announced a £60 million shares-for-dividend plan to retain emergency cash. Shareholders on the register at 27 December last year will receive 0.03 new shares for each existing share they own, making the payment 3%.

The stock dipped 1.3% to 761p.

Also going cap in hand to investors was struggling fashion chain Ted Baker as it raised £105 million through the placing of 140 million new shares at a price of 75p per share.

The firm described the fund raise as 'part of a holistic financing package and broader strategic transformation plan,' but the share price gave up 6.5% to 110p.

Supermarket chain Tesco nudged 0.4% higher to 227p following the sale of its business in Poland to Salling, which includes 301 stores, for a total enterprise value of PLN 900m (£181m), citing 'market challenges'.

Other supermarket stocks, such as Morrisons and Sainsbury were also marginally in the black, while grocery delivery and technology firm Ocado slipped 0.3% to £19.945.

Power networks operator National Grid stayed roughly flat at 950p after it forecast a potential £1 billion hit to cash flow this year, but kept its RPI inflation-matching dividend growth promise.

It will pay a full year 48.57p per share shareholder payout for the year to 31 March 2020. The group announced a 3% fall in statutory operating profit to £2.8bn, while underlying operating profit was up 1% to £3.5bn.

ELSEWHERE ON THE MARKET

Safestore has gained 4% to 746.7p after the self-storage group reported group revenue rose 8.5% to £79.3m in its interim results for the six months to 30 April 2020.

It attributed its 'strong' financial performance in the first half of the financial year to organic growth and two acquisitions completed at the start of the year.

Coca-Cola HBC has fizzled down 0.4% to 46.58p following an announcement that Michalis Imellos would step down as chief financial officer at the end of the first quarter next year.

CareTech has been buoyed 3.6% to 405p on the news that the social care services provider has lifted its dividend after reporting first-half performance that met market expectations.

For the six months ended 31 March 2020, underlying pre-tax profit increased by 25.1% to £25.9m, and revenue rose 8.3% to £208.5m on-year.

Train and bus operator Stagecoach has travelled 2.6% higher to 68.3p on the news that it has agreed a covenant waiver for the periods ending 31 October 2020 and 1 May 2021 with its group of lending banks for its facilities expiring March 2025.

Technology company Access Intelligence is up 2.2% to 57p as it said it expected first-half revenue to grow by 50% this year boosted by the acquisition of Pulsar.

International models and collectibles group Hornby was 0.6% higher at 36.2p after it reported narrower annual losses on higher revenue as the company continued to implement its turnaround strategy.


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