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25 Oct 2019 | 08:35

UK stocks open slightly lower as EU ponders Brexit extension

UK stocks edged a tad lower in early trade on Friday as European leaders deliberated over offering the UK a Brexit extension and Boris Johnson pushed for 12 December national elections.

At 0829, the benchmark FTSE 100 index was down 4.22 points at 7.324.03.

Banking group Barclays gained 2.7% to 170.87p as it reported a rise in third-quarter profit, despite forking out additional provisions for the mis-selling of personal protection insurance.

The lender also said that meeting its performance targets for this year and the next had become more challenging, owing to lower interest rates and macroeconomic uncertainty.

Miner and commodities trader Glencore shed 0.5% to 231.1p after it reported a 4% fall in year-to-date copper production, as it shuttered a smelter in Zambia and re-optimised a mine in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Advertising company WPP rallied 5.1% to 965.6p on revealing a 5.2% rise in third-quarter revenue, buoyed by new contracts wins with Mondelez and eBay.

Chemicals company Synthomer sank 11% to 275.51p after it announced that it had experienced a slower overall trading environment in the third quarter, which it said was expected to continue into the fourth quarter and into 2020.

Plastic and fibre product supplier Essentra shed 1.2% to 417.94p as its like-for-like revenue declined in the third quarter of the year, owing to some short-term Brexit impacts and a tougher macroeconomic environment.

Biomarker developer Oxford BioDynamics rose 1.1% to 95.5p as investors welcomed news that Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma America had enrolled the first patient in a new clinical study that involved use of the company's technology.

Virtual reality technology company VR Education added 5.8% to 6.35p on the back of news that its Engage platform had been selected by Facebook for its Oculus independent software vendors programme. Story provided by
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