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05 Aug 2019 | 11:44

UK stocks weaken further in midday trade

UK stocks lost 1.9% approaching midday on Monday, extending Friday's heavy losses as concerns about rising trade tensions between the US and China continue to rock global markets.

At 1145, the benchmark FTSE 100 index was down 140 points at 7,267.

LARGE- & MID-CAP MOVERS

HBSC fell 1.3% to 638p as it surprised the market by announcing that chief executive John Flint was leaving after just 18 months in the job.

The lender said a change at the top was needed to meet the challenges it faced. It also booked a 16% rise in first-half profit and launched a $1bn share buyback.

Advertising group WPP fell 2.4% to 915p, as it announced that it had merged a number of its business units to simplify the company.

Online grocery retailer Ocado slipped 2.9% to 1,173p, despite announcing that it had completed the planned £750m sale of its delivery business to Marks & Spencer, first announced in February.

Ocado confirmed the business would not sell M&S products until 1 September 2020, unless a current arrangements with Waitrose was terminated sooner.

BBA Aviation shed 4.3% to 301p after higher debt costs offset rising revenue to push its half-year adjusted profit 2% lower.

Just Eat fell 0.4% to 733p after confirming that the terms of its planned £8.4bn takeover by Dutch rival Takeaway.com were the same as those announced last month.

The offer values Just Eat shares at 731p which some observers viewed as undervaluing the UK firm.

SMALL-CAP MOVERS

EasyHotel was one of the few market gainers, jumping 34% to 94.5p on news that it had agreed to be acquired by Canadian real-estate fund Cadim Fonds and Luxembourg's ICAMAP Investments for £138.7m, or 95p per share.

Engineering company Senior shed 0.6% to 197p as it booked a lower first-half profit owing to acquisition costs and a loss on an asset sale.

Underlying profit growth was limited to 4% after the company's aerospace division were impacted by the grounding of Boeing's 737 MAX aircraft.

Wealth manager Quilter fell 0.7% to 139p as it agreed to sell its life insurance and pensions division to ReAssure for £425m, while also reporting a first-half loss.

Cruise port operator Global Ports dropped 6.8% to 345p as it warned of low single-digit annual earnings growth amid a weak third-quarter performance.

Oil explorer Petro Matad fell 15% to 6.7p as it revealed that it had postponed the drilling of a well in Mongolia, after a provincial government challenged its land-use rights.

Story provided by StockMarketWire.com
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