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20 Aug 2019 | 12:02

FTSE stays higher with pound under pressure

UK stocks remained higher on Tuesday as fears of a looming no-deal Brexit continued to heap pressure on the pound, helping exporters.

Sterling clawed back a little ground on the dollar and euro, but was still significantly down with Brexit noise set to continue throughout the day as European Union officials respond to remarks from UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

At 1152, the benchmark FTSE 100 index was up 26.65 points, or 0.37%, at 7,216.40. LARGE AND MID CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Mining giant BHP fell 1.3% to £17.58, despite declaring a record annual dividend, as its profits fell short of market expectations and it warned of an uncertain economic outlook marred by trade tensions.

Services company Wood Group gained 0.13% to 451.4p on news that it had sold its nuclear business to a subsidiary of Jacobs for £250m, while also swinging to a first-half profit.

House builder Persimmon rose 0.9% to £18.78, even as it booked a small fall in first-half profit.

Revenue was hit, as expected, by a decision to sell homes later in their construction process to address quality concerns, while operating margins remained healthy at 31%.

Pharmaceuticals company AstraZeneca firmed 1.9% to £74.23 after it reported positive trial results for a diabetes drug. SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS Subprime lender Non-Standard Finance gained 2.4% to 34.4p, despite it booking a deeper first-half loss, partly owing to costs associated with its failed takeover bid for rival Provident Financial.

The company also posted a rise in underlying revenue and earnings, while lifting its dividend 17%.

Disease and allergy testing company Omega Diagnostics rallied 5.9% to 9p after it received its first purchase order for an HIV testing kit from its partner company in Zimbabwe.

Avesoro Resources jumped 24.5% to 86p on revealing that controlling shareholder Avesoro Jersey had offered to buy the remaining shares in the company it didn't already own for £1 each.

Online retailer MySale plunged 38.88% to 2.9p after it launched a heavily dilutionary £10m equity raising at 2p a share to repay its bank debt.

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