UK stocks inch lower as global trade tensions simmer
Source - SMW
UK stocks edged lower on Friday as investors around the globe continued to fret about trade tensions between the US and China, a potential disorderly Brexit and rising US interest rates.
At 0845, the benchmark FTSE 100 index was down 4.39 points, or less than 0.1%, at 6.707.54.
Plastics company RPC Group gained 1.3%, despite announcing that potential suitor Apollo Global Management needed yet more time to decide on whether to make a firm bid for the company.
RPC also said that discussion with Apollo were 'well advanced' and that the due diligence process was at an 'advanced stage'.
Vodafone slipped 2% on conformation that it was looking for a new auditor, after deciding to replace PricewaterhouseCoopers amid a legal dispute over the collapse of phone retailer Phones 4U.
Anglo American gained 1.3% after it said it had resumed operations at its Minas-Rio iron ore operation in Brazil following pipeline repairs.
Alchoholic drinks group Diageo confirmed it had sold a portfolio of nineteen brands to Sazerac for $550m after agreeing a deal in November. Its shares fell 0.6%.
Among small caps, Marlowe gained 1.5% on news that it had acquired property-related health and safety group William Martin Compliance Solutions for an enterprise value of £30m.
The OH&S-focused company investor also also launched a £7m share issue to help fund the deal.
Pesticides supplier Plant Health Care tumbled 35% as it warned its annual revenue would be 'substantially' below market expectations, following a drought in South Africa and a delayed shipment to Brazil.
Healthcare computer software group Craneware jumped 10% after it said it was confident of meeting market expectations for the full year, amid continued sales momentum and high levels of revenue visibility.
Range Resources fell 9.9% on announcing that a $2.8m payment it was owed by LandOcean Energy Services had been delayed for up to six months.