StockMarketWire.com - The FTSE 100 fell dramatically on Wednesday after the International Monetary Fund said the global economy is set to take a worse hit than expected in 2020, falling 5% in a prediction that's almost double its April forecast.

Also sparking concerns were new surges in coronavirus, as well as reports that the US is mulling $3.1bn worth of tariffs on imports from the UK and EU, with fears there could be a transatlantic trade fight further down the line.

In the US the S&P 500 was last seen falling 2.9%, with the Dow Jones tumbling 3.16% and Nasdaq down 2.64%.

The UK's benchmark index closed 3.11%, or 196.43 points, lower to 6,123.57.

In company news, Mr Kipling cake and Oxo stock cubes maker Premier Foods rallied 14.93% to 68.5p after it swung to a full-year profit that helped it eat into its large debt pile.

Premier Foods also said it expected to beat revenue and earnings expectations for the current financial year, amid a surge in demand for cooking ingredients like gravy and baking products during Covid-19 lockdowns.

Online wine retailer Naked Wines also appeared to be benefiting from folks staying at home, jumping 8.7% to 400p despite it posting an underlying annual loss.

Naked Wines said it had experienced an encouraging start to the new year with 81% revenue growth in the first two months.

But an end to some lockdowns is also looming. Despite this JD Wetherspoon, which confirmed that it would reopen pubs in England on 4 July in line with government guidance, fell 7.02% to £10.46.

Elsewhere, housebuilder Persimmon fell 4.36% to £22.59 after it announced that it had poached the head of bus group National Express, Dean Finch, to be its new chief executive, effective at the end of the year.

National Express reversed 6.04% to 221p.

Rival housebuilder Crest Nicholson plunged 18.18% to 205.2p after it swung to a first-half loss and warned its adjusted profits for the year would sink to between £35m and £45m, compared to £121.1m a year earlier.

Oil services group Petrofac tumbled 14.86% to 187.65p, having warned that its trading performance had been materially impacted by the Covid-19 crisis and an associated plunge in oil prices.

Residential and industrial real estate investor St. Modwen Properties fell 2.25% to 344p despite warning of a substantial fall in first-half earnings, owing to the coronavirus crisis.

St. Modwen's adjusted EPRA earnings for the six months through June were seen falling to around £4m-to-£5m, down from £16.2m on-year.

Russia-focused gold miner Petropavlovsk fell 3.23% to 30p after it welcomed news that Standard & Poor's had upgraded its long-term issuer credit rating to 'B' from 'B-' with a stable outlook.

Telecom customer service software group Pelatro added 4.84% to 67.1p on securing a contract upgrade with an existing customer.


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