StockMarketWire.com - The FTSE 100 lost ground by lunchtime to trade 0.2% lower at 5,910.59 as an initial kicker from US stimulus hopes, vaccine developments and Chinese economic data waned. European markets also surrendered earlier gains.

US futures suggested Wall Street would manage modest gains when trading resumed this afternoon despite an ongoing surge in US coronavirus cases.

In UK corporate news, online fashion retailer Boohoo slumped 12.5% to 276.1p after it confirmed that PricewaterhouseCoopers was standing down as its auditor.

The update came after the Financial Times reported that PwC was standing down due to concerns about the standard of corporate governance at Boohoo.

Pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca was flat at £82.09 after it received positive regulatory decisions in Europe for separate treatments for heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Infrastructure investor John Laing ticked up 0.9% to 296p on agreeing to sell a portfolio of Australian wind farms to First Sentier Investors for $285 million, or about £157 million.

Consumer gift packaging business IG Design jumped 13.1% to 470.7p, having guided for higher-than-expected adjusted profit in the first half, amid a 40% surge in revenue.

IG Design, however, said it remained cautious on its full-year outlook amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

Specialist currency manager Record fell 3% to 42.3p despite its assets under management growing 4% in the second quarter.

Disease test-kit supplier Omega Diagnostics fell 3.6% to 95p after it signed a supply contract with Abingdon Health regarding the production of rapid tests in the UK for Covid-19.

Office and industrial property investor McKay Securities rose 1.3% to 194.5p announcing that it had collected 70% of rent due for the September quarter.

McKay Securities said the rate would increase to 87% on receipt of agreed monthly payments.

Biotechnology company Midatech Pharma rallied 18.9% to 39.25p, having reported encouraging headline results from a phase-one study in patients with diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma, which is a primary brain tumour.

Contamination control product manufacturer Tristel posted a 40% rise in annual profit after the Covid-19 pandemic drove higher demand for hospital surface disinfectants. Its shares dipped 1.1% to 492.2p. Story provided by StockMarketWire.com