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07 Oct 2019 | 16:38

UK stocks close higher despite retail sales slump

The FTSE 100 clawed back some gains after last week's losses despite the worst September for retail sales since records began in 1995.

Helping the exporter-heavy index was a fall in the pound, while elsewhere European stock markets also enjoyed modest gains. US markets opened down however, as investor nervousness grows over US-China trade talks on Thursday.

The UK's benchmark index closed 42.5 points, or 0.59% higher, at 7,197.88.

LARGE AND MID CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Shares in banking giant HSBC inched higher after initially weighing on the index, following reports that it will cut 10,000 jobs.

Its share price increased 0.6% to 606p, as the bank embarks on a cost-cutting drive in the face of the US-China trade war, continued unrest in its home market of Hong Kong and the possibility of a hard Brexit.

Building materials supplier SIG sank 15.8% to 101p after it warned on profits and said it was selling its air handling and building solutions businesses.

Vodafone rose 2% to 161p after the telecom giant announced that it would trial new technology in Europe and Africa that would increase the number of companies that could supply mobile network equipment to telecom operators.

SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Fishing tackle retailer Angling Direct edged 0.3% higher to 59p, even as it reported a fall in first-half profit owing to higher administrative costs that offset growing sales.

The company also posted a strong start to the second half, with like-for-like sales up 13%.

Publisher and attractions business Time Out dipped 0.4% to 126p, on launching a placing of shares at 127p each to raise up to £17.1m, to fund a continued investment in its food courts business and cut debt.

Defence contractor TP advanced 3.9% to 6.65p on news that it had been appointed as a key part of a team that had won the Skynet client support-side contract from the UK's Ministry of Defence.

Pawn broker Ramsdens firmed 1% to 195.4p as it revealed that it would book a one-off £0.6m gain in the first half after it decided to scrap some jewellery to take advantage of a higher gold price.

Cleaning products supplier McBride rose 3.4% to 57.1p after it appointed Jeffrey Nodland as chairman elect, with immediate effect.

Nodland was most recently chief executive of US consumer packaged goods manufacturer KIK Custom Products.

Out-of-hospital health care services provider Totally gained 20% to 11p after its Vocare unit secured two contract extensions worth a combined £16.6m.

Surveillance system supplier Petards jumped 6.7% to 16p, on announcing that it had secured a £1.3m contract to supply Bombardier Transportation with systems for trains.

Story provided by StockMarketWire.com
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