UPDATE 2-London stocks slip from near two-week highs as COVID-19 fears weigh

  • Reuters
  • Stock Market News
UPDATE 2-London stocks slip from near two-week highs as COVID-19 fears weigh
Credit: © Reuters.

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* Investors book profits following Monday's jump

* Halfords tumbles on gloomy profit scenario

* Premier Inn owner Whitbread slides as revenue plunges

* Online trading platform Plus500 tops FTSE 250

* FTSE 100 down 1.5%, FTSE 250 down 1% (Adds comments, updates prices to close)

By Shreyashi Sanyal

July 7 (Reuters) - UK shares slipped from near two-week highs on Tuesday as a surge in U.S. coronavirus cases turned investors away from riskier trades, while Halfords tumbled after a bleak profit expectation.

The motor and cycling products retailer HFD.L plunged 14.1% and posted its worst day in more than three months as it expects a profit scenario ranging from zero to a pretax loss of 10 million pounds ($12.5 million). outlook is very uncertain overall, the priority is going to be keeping costs down, and customers safe, as has become a bit of a mantra across the retail sector more generally," said Sophie Lund-Yates, equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown (LON: HRGV ).

The export-laden FTSE 100 .FTSE fell 1.5% wiping out most of Monday's gains, while British mid-caps .FTMC dropped 1%, with banks .FTNMX8350 leading declines.

"Investors are getting back to the reality of rising coronavirus cases, which is causing some caution and fear to be back following yesterday's rally," said David Madden, analyst at CMC Markets in London.

Aggressive global stimulus has partly powered a rebound in UK stock markets since a coronavirus-driven crash in March, but the pace of gains has slowed in the past two months with economic figures still on shaky ground.

Data on Tuesday showed British house prices fell for a fourth month in a row in June, the longest run of monthly declines since 2010. publisher Reach RCH.L tumbled 14.2%, logging its worst day since late March as it said it would cut about 550 jobs — 12% of its workforce — after the COVID-19 pandemic hit circulation and advertising. Inn owner Whitbread WTB.L fell 5.5% on reporting an 80% plunge in first-quarter sales as the COVID-19 lockdown shuttered most of its hotels in Britain and Germany. trading platform Plus500 PLUSP.L rose 3.3% after saying revenue in the first half nearly quadrupled.

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