StockMarketWire.com - UK markets endured a session of wild swings on Thursday as fears of a second wave of Covid-19 infections resurfaced, despite the Bank of England announcing that it will pump an additional £100 billion of economic aid into the economy.

That was at the low end of the £100 billion to £150 billion range anticipated by investors, sending UK stocks sharply down following the midday announcement, before staging a late afternoon rally that reversed some of the deepest losses.

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 closed the Thursday trading session almost 0.5% down at 6,224.07, declines almost matched by the FTSE 250's 0.4% reverse.

HOUSE HUILDERS IN FOCUS

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 Wednesday's closing price.

Taylor Wimpey shares close to 6% at 142.75p.

Rival house builder Vistry announced a £60 million shares-for-dividend plan to retain emergency cash, sending its share price down more than 3% to 746p.

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%.

Carnival closed 1% down at £12.61 after unveiling second quarter losses of $4.4bn. The cruise operator has effectively been on pause since March as the coronavirus pandemic caused the global travel industry to grind to a halt

For the three months ended 31 May, the firm reported a net loss of $4.4 billion, which included a $2 billion asset write down, while revenues plunged to just $0.7 billion compared to $4.8 billion a year ago. 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 nearly 9% to 107.4p.

Supermarket chain Tesco reversed earlier gains to close 0.3% lower at 226.4p following the sale of its business in Poland to Salling, which includes 301 stores, for a total enterprise value of PLN 900 million (£181 million), citing 'market challenges'.

But rival supermarket stocks, such as Morrisons and Sainsbury, withstood any selling pressure to make marginal gains, although grocery delivery and technology firm Ocado lost 2% to £19.615.

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

Self-storage firm Safestore jumped 6% to 762.5p 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.

Popular retail stock Blue Prism fell almost 5% to £11.70 after reporting rampant first half growth alongside a jump in cashburn.

The robotic automation process technology developer saw revenues leap almost 70% year-on-year to £68.5 million, with 98% of it on a recurring basis. But pre-tax losses jumped from £34.4 million to £41.4 million, with operating cashburn jumping from £18.6 million to £31.2 million. The company had £140.8 million of net cash on its books. Bottling group Coca-Cola HBC dipped 0.7% lower to £21.03 following an announcement that Michalis Imellos would step down as chief financial officer at the end of the first quarter next year.

CareTech rallied nearly 7% 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, seeing the stock close at 418p.

Train and bus operator Stagecoach rose 2% to 67.9p 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 added 3% to 57.5p 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 gained nearly 3% to 37p after it reported narrower annual losses on higher revenue as the company continued to implement its turnaround strategy.

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