- UK stocks have stumbled in early trading as the number of coronavirus cases in Europe creeps up, while students in the UK prepare to receive their GCSEs, following criticism for the way the UK government has handled exam results.

Popular holiday destinations Spain, Italy and Germany have all reported a jump in new infections, with Spain recording 3,715 in its daily count on Wednesday (19 August).

The FTSE 100 is down 0.7% or 41.91 points, at 6,070.07, while the FTSE 250 is 0.4% lower at 17,511.53.

Copper miner Antofagasta has tumbled 2.5% to £11.20 after it announced that its first-half revenue was down 15.3% as a result of copper prices 12.5% lower and sales volumes.

Group copper production guidance is at the lower end of the original 725-755,000 tonnes range and is on the basis that there are no Covid-19 related shutdowns during the rest of the year.

AO World was up 4.6% to 202p as the online electrical retailer reported that in the four months ended 31 July 2020, it recorded strong year-on-year revenue growth in the UK of 58.9% to £401.3m and of 91.5% to €74.3m in Germany on sustained demand for its products and services.

Construction supplier CRH has shed 0.4% to £29.96 on the news that first-half sales were 5% behind, with like-for-like sales 3% below the first half of 2019 at $12.2bn due to significant disruption in the second quarter as a result of Covid-19.

The company has warned of 'limited visibility' for the fourth quarter and into 2021.

Sportswear and department store retailer Frasers, previously Sports Direct International, has climbed 12.3% to 343.4p after it announced a 6.9% increase in group revenue as revenues across UK sports retail and premium lifestyle were buoyed by acquisitions.

Frasers' acquisitions during the full year included GAME Digital, Jack Wills, and Brookfield Unit Trust.

Mothercare is 4.2% higher to 6p as it unveiled a new business model after talks with its franchisees.

The new arrangements will see its franchise partners pay manufacturers directly for products.

John Laing has lost 1.8% to 3.24p after the infrastructure group reported a decline in group net asset value driven by challenges in its renewable energy projects, while its PPP portfolio delivered a solid financial and operational performance in the first half of 2020.

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