StockMarketWire.com - UK stocks opened substantially lower on Monday as the likliehood of a second national lockdown in Britain grew stronger amid a surge in Covid-19 cases. At 0824, the benchmark FTSE 100 index was down 128.1 points, or 2.1%, to 5,878.95.

Fashion retailer Superdry sank 11% to 135.2p, having posted a deeper annual loss after the Covid-19 pandemic hampered its turnaround efforts.

Superdry said trading had improved as social distancing measures were relaxed. Even so, revenue in the seven weeks to 12 September was down 31%, while revenue in the 20 weeks to 12 September was down 27%.

Security company and takeover target G4S slipped 1.8% to 190.1p, as it said its underlying earnings were now ahead for the first eight months of 2020 on-year, following a 'strong' first half performance.

G4S said its revenue was 1.9% lower overall, though this was more than offset by cost control and reduced interest expenses.

Pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca fell 0.5% to £87.04 despite revealing positive trial results for a lung cancer treatment.

Separately, AstraZeneca also announced said it and partner Merck had received marketing authorisation in the European Union for a treatment for prostate cancer and ovarian cancer.

Publisher and events group Informa gained 0.7% to 383.4p even as it posted a deep annual loss due to event cancellations.

Informa also said it extend delays of events into mid-to-late spring next year to soften the impact from the pandemic -- a move that was expected to help strengthen its balance sheet.

Music rights investor Hipgnosis Songs Fund dropped 5.0% to 119.75p as it launched a £254m share issue to fund the acquisition of more song catalogues.

New shares in the company were being offered at 116p each, a 7.9% discount to the Hipgnosis closing price on Friday.

Bus and rail company FirstGroup reversed 3.1% to 41.4p, even as the UK government extended an emergency funding arrangements for the rail industry.

Warehouse investor Urban Logistics REIT shed 4.4% to 140.48p after it launched a capital raising of up to around £130m to acquire more properties.

New shares in the company were being offered at 139p each, a 5.4% discount to Urban Logistics REIT's closing price on Friday.

Specialist currency manager Record soared 17% to 37p on announcing that it had been selected for a dynamic hedging mandate of about $8bn in size.

Consumer goods group UP Global Sourcing, also known as Ultimate Products, added 1.2% to 101.99p following news that co-founder Barry Franks was standing down from its board.

Franks would remain in the role of president, in recognition of his continuing contribution to Ultimate Products, said the company, which also appointed two new non-executive directors.

Molecular diagnostics group Yourgene Health lost 1.1% to 18.8p despite announced that it had appointed Immuno-Biological Laboratories as a non-exclusive distributor for several of its tests across its reproductive health and oncology portfolios in the US.

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