StockMarketWire.com - UK stocks opened lower on Tuesday as global Covid-19 cases continued to climb and data showed the British economy bouncing back by less than hoped in May.

At 0827, the benchmark FTSE 100 index was down 48.83 points, or 0.8%, at 6,127.36.

UK gross domestic product for the month of May rose 1.8%, missing expectations for a 5.5% improvement, having slumped 20.3% in April.

In company news, online grocery group Ocado lost 2.8% to £19.765, even as it narrowed its first-half losses after Covid-19 lockdowns boosted demand for home delivery.

Higher sales at Ocado were nevertheless offset by continued investments in its logistics business, keeping profits elusive for investors.

Online electrical retailer AO World gained 3.8% to 170.24p, having swung to a profit as lockdown spurred online shopping.

Drinks maker Fever-Tree fell 2.6% to £23.55 after it posted a mixed trading update that showed rising off-trade sales in the US offset by a weaker on-trade performance in Europe. On-trade refers to demand from pubs and clubs.

Safety technology company company Halma reversed 5.8% to £21.59 as it warned of a 5-10% drop in profit for the current financial year, pinned on the pandemic.

Defence technology company QinetiQ dropped 2.5% to 291.4p amid news that it had acquired intelligence and law enforcement software company Naimuri for £25m.

QinetiQ also said that although its order intake in the first quarter of its financial year 'continued to be strong', revenue and profit had been been impacted by lockdowns.

Emerging markets asset manager Ashmore shed 2.7% to 416.4p despite a recovery in markets helping to boost its assets under management in June.

Auto dealer Vertu Motors revved 5.7% higher to 24p on announcing that it posted a profit in June that exceeded its expectations, after buyers returned following an easing of UK lockdowns.

Vertu, however, also said that it had reduced it headcount by 6%.

Technology sector investor Polar Capital Technology Trust slipped 3.4% to £21.2018 despite posting a positive annual performance that beat its benchmark.

Chairman Sarah Bates, however, warned: 'We worry about valuations and we worry that the sector has become a media favourite in some ways.'

Disease test kit supplier Omega Diagnostics sank 14% to 32.7p, having swung to a full-year loss on the back of a writedown at its discontinued allergy operation.

Industrial cleaning group McBride gained 4.4% to 62.64p as it guided for adjusted annual profits above current market consensus, as the pandemic boosts demand for hygiene products.

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