- The FTSE 100 recovered early losses to end in positive territory despite the World Health Organization warning that global cases of COVID-19 will soon top 10 million. Royal Mail shares sank after announcing it was cutting 2,000 management jobs as the pandemic hits.

At 16:30 the FTSE 100 was up 0.6% at 6,162 while the mid-cap FTSE 250 was 0.2 % lower at 17,118.

Student accommodation developer Unite was 2% higher to 916p after raising approximately £300m through a placing, the proceeds of which will be used to accelerate its growth in London and prime provincial markets.

The placing price represented a discount of 3.1% to the middle market closing price on 24 June 2020 of 897.5p.

BAE Systems was up 1.2% to 485p after the defence company said it expected 'much stronger' performance in the second half of the year after the impact of the pandemic dented first-half profit.

LondonMetric Property put on 0.2% to 212p following the announcement of two acquisitions for a total of £72.9m.

Chemicals company Johnson Matthey dropped 0.4% to £20.7 on the news that chief financial officer Anna Manz is set to leave the company after almost four years and join the London Stock Exchange as CFO.

Auto Trader has decelerated 0.9% to 521p after it reported an uptick in profit but said the short-term outlook remained uncertain despite an initial bounce back in used car demand since its retailers resumed operations.

Estate agent Savills fell 2.7% to 808p after a trading update in which it reported that COVID-19 has had a significant impact on global real estate market volumes.

The company said that group full-year performance will depend on the extent to which regional transactional markets recover in the second half.

Capita has declined 6.6% to 43.5p as it warned of lower first-half revenue this year after performance was hurt by the Covid-19 pandemic and contract losses.

Revenue in the first half of the year was expected to be around 10% lower than 2019, of which 5% related to Covid-19, the company said.

EasyJet descended 7.8% to 682p as the budget airline raised £419m from the placing of new shares at a 5% discount to last nights close.

Royal Mail lost 12.2% to 158p on the news that it is shedding 2,000 management jobs in a bid to address the 'immediate impact' of COVID-19, as it reported lower revenue for the first two months of 2020-21.

The company announced a three-step plan which is expected to result in a £130m saving in people costs next year and flat non-people costs, along with a reduction of around £300m in capex across the group over the next two years.

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