StockMarketWire.com - UK shares turned-down sharply on Thursday afternoon following US stocks lower on the biggest tech stock weakness seen since March with the Nasdaq 100 falling more than 5%.

After strong gains over the last few months, investors are finally questioning the baked-in expectations of a V-shaped economic recovery.

The benchmark FTSE 100 dropped sharply, losing 1.6% to 5,846. The mid-cap FTSE 250 index also fell, losing 1.3% to 17,481.

Bucking the afternoon trend was turnaround specialist Melrose Industries after it said it saw partial recovery in some of its markets.

Half-year results were predictably battered, with adjusted operating profit plunging 90% to £56 million in the first half, hurt by a coronavirus-driven downturn in the aerospace and automotive sectors.

The shares kept earlier gains, finishing up 13 % topping the FTSE leader board at 113.5p.

Online trading platform CMC Markets said it expects 2021 earnings to surpass the higher end of market consensus, while pointing to a rise in costs as it brought on more clients for its services. Its shares advanced 2% to 318p.

E-commerce firm The Hut Group confirmed its intention to float on the London Stock Exchange, in potentially the biggest listing of a British company since 2013 and the first major London listing since the COVID-19 crisis.

Tritax Big Box REIT ended flat at 154.8p after announcing it had completed the sale of its Chesterfield asset for £57.3m. The price was a premium to the 30 June 2020 book value and reflected a return of 18.5% per annum.

French drugmaker Sanofi and its British peer GlaxoSmithKline have started a clinical trial for a protein-based COVID-19 vaccine candidate, as pharmaceutical companies race to develop treatments against the COVID-19 pandemic. Glaxo shares dropped 1.3% to £14.7.

British renewable power generator and network operator SSE has been fined £2.1 million for failing to publish information on future generation capacity, Britain's energy regulator said. The shares sank almost 3% to £12.25.

Pensions firm Curtis Banks fell 4.8% to 208.6p after the self-invested pension plan provider maintained its interim dividend despite a fall in profit on client portfolio impairment from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and Brexit uncertainty.

Digital services company Kainos (KNOS) fell 6.3% to £10.1 despite reporting that trading since April continued to be 'resilient' across its businesses. It believes annual results will be in line with market expectations.


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