The FTSE 100 failed to gain any positive momentum as it was impacted by several big names going ex-dividend, falling 0.4% to 7,384 around midday. European equities were subdued despite disappointing factory orders data from Germany. US futures indicated Wall Street may open flat on Thursday as the market focused on US-China trade talks. Brent crude oil was stable at $69.39 per barrel. MID AND LARGE CAP RISERS AND FALLERS Over-50s insurer Saga plummeted 34.5% after cutting its dividend and announcing a strategy change. The company also revealed underlying pre-tax profit for the 2019/20 financial year is forecast to be between £105m and £120m. Home repairs business Homeserve reported adjusted pre-tax profit for the year to March 2019 will be at the upper end of expectations, helping the shares rise 1.3%. Shares in electronic products specialist Electrocomponents rose 2.5% after announcing it expected to deliver strong pre-tax profit growth thanks to a good performance in the fourth quarter. Entertainment One said continued growth in its family and brand segment boosted its annual performance as it continues to transition from distributing to producing content. Shares in the firm rose 3.2%. Shopping centre owner Intu appointed Matthew Roberts as chief executive, but this failed to excite the market as the shares dipped 0.8% to 105.1p. Construction and development firm Watkin Jones was flat at 221.5p after delivering in line trading in the six months to 31 March 2019. SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS Electricals retailer AO World fell 6.1% following guidance that earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation will be at the lower end of market expectations. Mothercare declined 6% to 21p after revealing UK like-for-like sales declined 8.8% in the quarter to 30 March, although this was an improvement on the previous two quarters.
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