StockMarketWire.com - The FTSE 100 was again sharply lower by lunchtime on Thursday, rapidly surrendering its earlier gains when it briefly traded above 7,000 at the open. By midday the index was down 2.1% to 6,860.04.

Fears over mounting inflation continue to stalk the markets with a significant sell-off in the US overnight centred around growth stocks.

This made for a difficult backdrop for chip designer Alphawave to make its debut with the shares slumping 20% to 326p.

Telecoms giant BT's share price fell 4.9% to 160.9p as it reported a fall in annual profit. Revenue was hurt by the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on its consumer and enterprise businesses, the company said.

For the year through March 2021, pre-tax profit fell 23% to £1,804 million year-on-year as revenue slipped 7% to £21,331 million.

High-end fashion retailer Burberry resumed its full-year dividend after reporting a jump in profit as margins improved amid an accelerated recovery and a strong final quarter of the year.

For the full year ended 27 March 2021, pre-tax profit profit rose 190% to £490 million year-on-year, while revenue fell 11% to £2.34 billion. A warning of a hit to profitability thanks to increased investment saw the shares slump 7% to £19.58.

Private equity group 3i reported a sharp uptick in total returns for the year as its private equity portfolio was up sharply. For the year to 31 March, total return was £1,726 million, up from £253 million last year and net asset value per share rose to 947 pence from 804 pence.

The group's share price ticked up 1.2% to £12.13.

Rolls-Royce is confident it can deliver permanent cost reductions after its restructure last year, positioning the business well for the rebound in international air travel.

Ahead of its AGM on Thursday 13 May, the company said it is expecting its Spirit of Innovation all-electric aircraft will take to the air "within weeks". The share price dipped by 0.5% to 104.4p.

Hargreaves Lansdown reported a rise in assets under administration for the four months through April 2021, thanks to record new business as clients ramped up contributions into their tax beneficial accounts.

For the four month period to 30 April 2021, assets under administration rose 28% to £132.9 billion, with net new active clients of 126,000 in the period. Despite this, the share price fell 5.5% to £16.76.

Specialty chemicals company Elementis said it expected performance toward the top end of market expectations after reporting 'strong' first-quarter performance ahead of its expectations. Its share price rose 1.7% to reach 142.5p

The share price of home builder Countryside was down 2.6% at 493.6p following a fall in profit as rising costs offset a jump in the revenue amid an ongoing increase in house prices.

For the six months ended 31 March 2021, pre-tax profit fell to £38.8 million from £43.7 million year-on-year, while adjusted revenue increased to £661.0 million from £481.2 million.


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