StockMarketWire.com - UK stocks fell in early trading on Tuesday, giving up some of Monday's strong gains, as local companies continued to announce job cuts blamed on a gloomy economic outlook.

At 0920, the benchmark FTSE 100 index was down 52.21 points, or 0.8%, at 6,233.73.

Daily Mirror and Daily Express newspaper publisher Reach slumped 8.0% to 81.7p on announcing that it would axe 550 jobs, or 12% of its workforce, as the Covid-19 crisis speeds up a structural shift in the media sector towards online channels.

Reach announced the layoffs while reporting a 28% slump in second-quarter revenue.

Water and climate management solutions group Polypipe was unchanged at 449p after it said it was planning to cut around 250 jobs, or 8% of its workforce, citing the lingering impact of the Covid-19 crisis on the British economy.

Elsewhere, Premier Inn hotel chain owner Whitbread fell 4.5% to £23.30 as its sales slumped 79% in the first quarter of its financial year, owing to Covid-19 lockdowns.

Whitbread said over 270 UK hotels and 24 restaurants had now reopened, with the majority of the rest of the estate due to reopen throughout July.

Sportswear retailer JD Sports Fashion gained 0.2% to 675.8p, having reported a 3% rise in annual profit.

JD Sports, however, also scrapped its final dividend, while warning of lingering weak footfall in malls, as nervous shoppers avoid enclosed spaces.

Enterprise software company Micro Focus International reversed 5.1% to 416.4p after it swung to a deep first-half loss, owing to falling sales and a large writedown linked to economic uncertainty caused by the pandemic.

Cruise company Carnival gained 0.2% to 984.8p, even as it announced that the Mardi Gras, a ship featuring the first roller coaster at sea, wouldn't enter service until February due to Covid-19.

Online contracts-for-difference broker Plus500 rallied 4.9% to £14.01 on announcing its revenue had surged in the first half after heightened market volatility encouraged investors to place bets.

Electrical products supplier Electrocomponents edged back 0.1% to 682p as it reported an 11% fall in revenue in its fiscal first quarter.

Marine services provider James Fisher and Sons shed 1.5% to £13.7927 on the back of a 10% fall in first-half revenue pinned on weaker oil and gas markets.

Photo booth and laundry services provider Photo-Me International dropped 3.9% to 52p as it booked a 96% slump in annual profit.

Online women's fashion retailer Sosandar leapt 19% to 12.3p, having substantial narrowed its first-quarter losses, thanks to a 54% jump in sales and lower marketing spend.

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