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04 Dec 2019 | 12:06

FTSE regains ground despite weak economic data

UK stocks erased their early losses on Wednesday with the FSTE 100 index trading up 18 points or 0.25% to 7,176 at midday despite a weak service-sector confidence reading for November and Donald Trump pouring cold water on hopes of reaching a trade deal with China before the 2020 US presidential election.

Miners were among the biggest gainers with Evraz up 4% to 359p, Antofagasta up 3.1% to 871p, although Fresnillo was the weakest stock in the FSTE 100 losing 2.5% to 568p.

Rio Tinto added 0.6% to £41.98 despite halting mining operations at Richards Bay Minerals in South Africa due to violence in surrounding communities and downgrading its titanium output forecast.

Supermarket chain Morrisons dropped 1.8% to 196.25p as it promoted Trevor Strain to the role chief operating officer, firming him up as the favourite to succeed chief executive David Potts.

Vodafone fell 0.4% to 145p after announcing that it would partner with with Amazon to offer cloud computing services to businesses in Europe.


Central Europe focused spirits producer Stock Spirits rose 3.2% to 194p on reporting a 25% rise in annual profit, boosted by strong vodka sales in Poland and rum sales in the Czech Republic.

Wagering group Webis rallied 1.8% to 1.22p as it secured an extension of its Cal Expo harness racing operations through to 2025.

Cafe, bar and restaurant group Loungers rose 3.8% to 205p after the rollout of more sites helped boost its revenue and narrow its losses.

Toy supplier Character shed 7.7% to 383p as it booked a fall in profits, as the demise of Scandinavian retailer Top Toy continued to weigh on demand.

Fashion retailer Quiz slumped 10.3% to 15p, having swung to a first-half loss, as sales slipped and it wrote down the value of its stores.

Advertising company M&C Saatchi plunged 47% to 78p after hitting investors with a barrage of bad news, including that it would make adjustments of £11.6m to its results owing to accounting errors.

The company also warned of a 'substantial' fall in underlying profits due to weaker trading conditions and said it would restructure its London office.

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