Source - SMW
A strong set of UK GDP figures served to boost the pound and weaken the dollar, thereby making the FTSE's large number of overseas earners less attractive to investors.

In late morning trading, the FTSE 100 traded 13.7 points down at 7,512.70. The pound moved 0.4% higher against the dollar at $1.3188.

Brent crude oil was stable at $58.37 per barrel. Gold and copper fell 0.4% and 0.5% to $1,270 per ounce and $3.17 per pound, respectively. 

The UK economy grew by 0.4% between July and September, up from 0.3% growth in the previous quarter, according to the Office for National Statistics.

The services sector continues to be the largest contributor to growth thanks to a strong performance in computer programming, motor and retail trade.

The mining sector saw the biggest share price declines among the blue chip stocks as they are all dollar earners. For example, gold and silver miner Fresnillo (FRES) fell 2.3% to £13.46 and diversified miner Anglo American (AAL) dropped 1.7% to £14.21.

Elsewhere on the UK stock market, Lloyds (LLOY) kicked off results in the banking sector. It reported a better than anticipated 9% jump in third quarter underlying pre-tax profit, driven by a decline in one-off costs and misconduct charges.

The shares nudged 0.6% higher to 67.8p as investors didn't like comment from Lloyds on increasing pressure from regulators regarding the amount of capital it needs to hold.


The Dow Jones closed 0.7% higher at 23,441 overnight, driven by strong quarterly earnings from construction machinery developer Caterpillar and manufacturing giant 3M on Tuesday afternoon.

In Japan, the Nikkei 224 ended its recent bull-run with a 0.45% retreat to 21,707.62.


Copper producer Antofagasta (ANTO) fell 4.4% to 985.3p on weaker than expected guidance for 2018.

Metro Bank (MTRO) dipped 0.7% to £36.15 despite strong results as the company reported a 77% increase in third quarter profit, driven by higher lending and deposit volumes.

Retail bank Virgin Money (VM.) confirmed press speculation that it was talking to Irene Dorner to potentially appoint her as chairman. Its shares were flat at 298.8p.

Cigarette seller British American Tobacco (BATS) highlighted a currency tailwind of 5.5% on its earnings per share and said it would update analysts and investors today at a special event on its next generation products. This was encouraging news for investors who marked the stock 2.5% higher to £49.48.


Motor retailer Pendragon (PDG) accelerated 10.1% to 24.6p after chief executive Trevor Finn hiked his stake by buying £445,000 and non-executive chairman Chris Chambers bought £117,249 of shares. Both took action following Monday's profit warning.

Photobooth operator Photo-Me International (PHTM) failed to click with the market despite sales rising 11.2% in the five months to 30 September. Its shares only managed to rise 1% to 173p perhaps because analysts didn't see any reason to upgrade their earnings forecasts.

On AIM, cyber security firm Defenx (DFX) warned it was expecting a full year loss due to a delay in a small number of high value contracts. Nearly two-fifths of the company's value was wiped off, leaving the share price struggling at 60.9p.

Elsewhere, regulatory reporting solutions provider Lombard Risk Management (LRM) also had a tough time after its pre-tax losses widened on a challenging first half. Sales in the half year to 30 September were down 16.4% to £12.7m after a temporary drop in services revenue and delays in contract signings, causing the stock to crash 34.9% to 7p.