StockMarketWire.com - A significant sell off in Chinese technology stocks amid a mounting government crackdown didn't do too much damage to the FTSE 100 in the end as it fell modestly to trade just above the 7,000 mark on Tuesday.

In the US the S&P 500 was down 0.5% by 4.30pm UK time ahead of the release of earnings updates from several heavyweight companies.

Reckitt Benckiser, which sells Nurofen pain killer and Dettol cleaner, tumbled 8.4% to £57, having swung to a £1.94 billion first-half loss on lower revenue and a write down on Chinese infant formula assets.

More concerningly, the company stoked fears of rising supply constraints in the economy by warning that its margins would fall for the full year. It held is interim dividend steady at 73p per share.

On a brighter note, chemicals company Croda climbed 5.6% to £82.66, having upgraded its full-year outlook after reporting a 41% jump in first-half profit and hiking its dividend.

Croda said it was now expecting a full-year adjusted pre-tax profit 'significantly ahead' of current forecasts. It upped its interim dividend 10% to 43.5p per share.

Precious metal miner PolyMetal International lost 0.6% to £15.10 as it reported a 6% year-on-year rise in second-quarter revenue after higher metal prices helped offset a fall in output.

Polymetal confirmed its 2021 production guidance of 1.5 million gold-equivalent ounces and said construction at the Nezhda and POX-2 projects remained on schedule.

Banking group Virgin Money UK gained 2% to 196.7p as it upgraded its annual margin guidance after it boosted mortgage lending volumes in the third quarter.

Virgin Money UK forecast its net interest margin for the full year to be 'modestly ahead' of 160 basis points, having risen to 168 basis points in the third quarter.

Convenience foods manufacturer Greencore gained 3.3% to 133.2p after upgrading its annual revenue forecast following a strong third quarter.

Greencore now expects to generate a fiscal 2021 adjusted operating profit outturn of between £36 million and £40 million, versus previous guidance of £32.5 million.

Bus and train company Firstgroup dipped 0.2% to 84.3p as it swung to a £115.8 million annual profit, after cost cuts and government subsidies helped buffer it from a pandemic-led slump in demand.

Looking ahead, Firstgroup said it expected volumes to recover to between 80%-to-90% of pre-pandemic levels during the first year after social distancing restrictions on public transport end.

Online greeting cards and gifts group Moonpig slumped 9.3% to 385p, despite posting a 3.4% rise in pre-tax annual profit.

Moonpig's underlying profit jumped 41% after its revenue more than doubled, though it forecast revenue to fall substantially this year as conditions normalise following the end of lockdowns.

Gambling technology group Playtech slipped 0.9% to 377.4p on announcing that it performed in line with expectations in the first half, as online strength offset weakness at its Italian retail business.

Newspaper publisher Reach rallied 6.7% to 334p, despite posting a loss owing to a large tax bill, after it saw its first-half revenue rise 4%.

Reach also reinstated its interim dividend at 2.75p per share.

Door and window components supplier Tyman shed 1% to 445.5p even as it reinstated its interim dividend after its first-half profit more than doubled on a rebound in sales.

Tyman declared a first-half dividend of 4p per share, up 4% compared to 2019.


Story provided by StockMarketWire.com