China retaliated to US President Donald Trump's tariffs with $60bn worth of taxes on US imports, but this was not as bad as feared with the FTSE 100 broadly unmoved at 7,305 around midday. Utilities were among the stocks out of favour with National Grid dimming 2% to 779.5p and Severn Trent shedding 1.8% to £18.58. Brent crude oil was down 0.2% at $78.86 per barrel. MID AND LARGE CAP RISERS AND FALLERS Weaker sales at B&Q and a disappointing performance in France hit profitability at Kingfisher as underlying pre-tax profits fell 14.8% to £375m in the six months to 31 July. The stock declined 3.5% to 254.4p. UK supermarket Tesco launched its new discount store chain Jack's to take on rivals Aldi and Lidl, but this failed to excite the market as the shares dipped 0.2% to 234.5p. Elsewhere in the sector, the Competition and Markets Authority referred Sainsbury's £7.3bn takeover of Asda for an in-depth review. Shares in Sainsbury's retreated 0.9% to 317.8p. Engineering design software specialist Aveva revealed robust trading and confirmation it is targeting operating profit margins of 30% via operating efficiencies and cutting costs. Shares in the company rose 5.1% to £29.62. Babcock reported trading was in line with expectations with an order book of £18bn and a pipeline worth £14bn, causing the stock to accelerate 2.3% to 708p. SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS Shares in Premaitha Health received a 15.4% boost to 14.6p on a legal settlement and a licence and supply partnership deal with Illumina, resolving the infringement litigation. Futura Medical revealed it plans to take erectile dysfunction treatment MED2002 through Phase II development before partnering or selling the asset to generate higher prices. Shares in the pharma firm plummeted 32.1% to 17.4p as Futura explores options for additional funding.
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