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UK stocks end the day flat

Wed, 6th Nov 2019

UK stocks continued their lackluster performance on Wednesday as investors awaited more signs of progress in US-China trade talks. At 1635, the benchmark FTSE 100 index was just 8 points higher or 0.12% at 7,396.65. Clothing and food retailer Marks & Spencer reversed initial gains to close 0.2% lower at 182p as it posted a better than expected 17.1% fall in first-half profit before tax. The company's revenue and underlying profit both fell owing to a slide in sales at its clothing unit, though it said the division's performance had picked up in October. Its food division, meanwhile, grew sales ahead of expectations. Shopping centre landlord Intu slumped 17.2% to 33.33p after it said it was eyeing asset sales and a likely equity raising to fix its balance sheet amid a slump in leasing activity. Defence contractor Ultra Electronics gained 3.9% to £20.40 on announcing that it had experienced 'good' order book development since its interim results and that it continued to trade in line with expectations. House builder Redrow was down 1% at 605p after announcing that trading had remained 'encouragingly resilient' in its financial year to date, with the value of net private reservations rising. Cyber security company Sophos closed flat at 572p as it swung to a first-half loss, owing to one-off restructuring and legal costs. The company, which recently agreed to be acquired by Thoma Bravo for £3.1bn, said pre-tax losses for the six months through September amounted to $1.5m. Sound Energy fell 23.4% to 5.25p, even as it announced that it had entered into an early-stage agreement to sell 51% of its interests in eastern Morocco for $112.8m, subject to the completion of due diligence on the assets and shareholder approval. Logistics group Connect reversed 2.4% to 28.7p as it reported a fall in profit amid ongoing challenges at its Tuffnells parcel delivery unit. Component supplier to the construction industry Tyman rose 11.4% to 230p on guiding for higher revenue and operating profit for the full year, despite the challenging economic and political backdrop. Financial services group WH Ireland rose 1.4% to 49.7p despite it booking a first-half loss and saying it would raise £2.5m from a share issue. Story provided by StockMarketWire.com

FTSE 100 Latest
Value7,135.84
Change-52.66