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29 Oct 2019 | 11:59

FTSE drops as Labour backs election

Blue chip UK stocks tumbled on Tuesday after the pound gained ground following early losses as Labour backed an early general election.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn indicated his support for a December election pitched by the government, which led sterling higher in mid-morning trading but weighed on the export-heavy FTSE 100 index, also dragged down after oil giant BP reported disappointing profit numbers.

At 1157, the UK's benchmark index was down 54.89 points, or 0.75%, to 7,276.39.


BP fell 3.5% to 494p after it swung to a loss in the third quarter, as lower prices, hurricane impacts and maintenance activities hurt its oil and gas production business.

Online broker Plus500 rallied 5.8% to 834p after its revenue rose 10% in the third quarter, boosted by a jump in customer numbers.

John Laing gained 0.27% to 366p on announcing that it had acquired stakes in separate Colombian and Canadian road and rail projects.

Energy services group Hunting reversed 3.3% to 406p as it warned on full-year profit, amid a slowdown in the US onshore shale market.

Asthma drug company Vectura advanced 2.2% to 85p on the appointment of Will Downie as its new chief executive officer.


Harry Potter books publisher Bloomsbury fell 4% to 250p after first half results revealed a drop in pre-tax profits. The company cautioned that sales are expected to be 'even more second-half weighted than in previous years.'

Oil and gas minnow I3 Energy rocketed 43% higher to 40p as it struck oil at its 100%-owned Serenity prospect.

Kazakhstan-focused Nostrum Oil & Gas moved 10% higher to 22.55p despite the fact it downgraded its annual production guidance, while reporting a fall in year-to-date revenue.

Israel-focused precious gem producer Shefa Gems fell 19% to 4.05p after announcing that chief executive Avi Taub had passed away following a short illness.

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