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Market News

29 Oct 2019 | 16:49

UK stocks pare losses after election debate

UK stocks pulled back some of their earlier losses on a dramatic day of politics on Tuesday as Parliament debated holding a general election.

Blue chips on the export-heavy FTSE 100 index fell as the pound gained ground after Labour dropped their opposition to a December election.

It was a significant contrast to the US markets, as the S&P 500 hit another all-time high, lifted by upbeat figures from pharma giants Merck and Pzifer.

The UK's benchmark index closed 25.02 points, or 0.34%, down at 7,306.26.

LARGE AND MID CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

BP fell 3.8% to 492p 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 5.5% to 832p after its revenue rose 10% in the third quarter, boosted by a jump in customer numbers.

John Laing ended the day flat at 365p on announcing that it had acquired stakes in separate Colombian and Canadian road and rail projects.

Energy services group Hunting dipped 0.95% to 416p as it warned on full-year profit, amid a slowdown in the US onshore shale market.

Asthma drug company Vectura advanced 3.6% to 86.2p on the appointment of Will Downie as its new chief executive officer.

SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Harry Potter books publisher Bloomsbury fell 2.7% to 253p 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 48% higher to 41.5p as it struck oil at its 100%-owned Serenity prospect.

Kazakhstan-focused Nostrum Oil & Gas moved 29.5% higher to 26.55p 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.

Story provided by StockMarketWire.com
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