Source - SMW
The FTSE 100 was flat at 7,351. The pound clawed back some losses overnight and this saw the blue chip overseas earners which benefited from weaker sterling hand back their gains.

House prices between September and November were 2.4% higher than the previous quarter according to Halifax's recent house price index.

Brent crude oil was up 0.6% to $61.60 per barrel. Copper climbed 0.6% to $2.95 per pound and gold dipped 0.7% to $1,254 per ounce. 

OVERSEAS MARKETS

Energy stocks underperformed overnight on news that US oil production was increasing faster than anticipated. The S&P 500 was flat at 2,629.

MID AND LARGE CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Shares in Ladbrokes Coral (LCL) catapulted 25.9% to 170.8p on confirmed speculation by its rival GVC (GVC) that it wants to buy the gambling company. GVC proposed to buy Ladbrokes for £3.9bn, helping the stock rise 4.5% to 950p.

William Hill (WMH) was also higher, up 2.8% to 299.7p, after it ended a legal spat with Scientific Games concerning the acquisition of NYX shares from the bookie.

Packaging group DS Smith (SMDS) reported better than anticipated first half results thanks its strong trading in e-commerce and with Pan-European customers.

Housebuilder MJ Gleeson (GLE) was on track to meet full year expectations, which was supported by strong demand and a 30% jump in forward orders as of 30 November. Investors were pleased with the update, marking the shares 2% higher to 770p.

Legal & General (LGEN) was flat at 262.3p despite continued momentum in all its businesses and being on track for a record year for earnings and profits.

SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

There was good news from pension services provider Xafinity (XAF) as pre-tax profit in the six months to 30 September soared 188% to £4.9m. Shares in the company increased 6.6% to 184.5p. 

Mobile services supplier The People's Operator (TPOP) plummeted 72.9% to 0.1p on plans to raise £3.2m at a discount to wipe off outstanding debts and implement a new marketing strategy. Investors were unhappy that the company might need to raise more money in the second half of next year.

Proton therapy systems developer Advanced Oncotherapy (AVO) rallied 38.2% to 45.6p on an exclusive distribution deal with Yantai CIPU Medical Technology.

Social care services provider CareTech (CTH) reported a 12.6% rise in underlying pre-tax profits to £29.4m in the half year to the end of September. The stock advanced 1.5% to 432.3p on the news. 


Related Charts

Gleeson (M J) Group (GLE)

+3.00p (+0.40%)
delayed 14:51PM

Ladbrokes Coral Group (LCL)

+0.25p (+0.15%)
delayed 14:56PM

Legal & General Group (LGEN)

+0.85p (+0.32%)
delayed 14:56PM

Smith (DS) (SMDS)

-4.25p (-0.82%)
delayed 14:56PM

William Hill (WMH)

+4.00p (+1.29%)
delayed 14:56PM