As investors continued to weigh threats around trade wars and geopolitical tensions in the Middle East, global stocks remained on the back foot. The FTSE 100 bucked the trend somewhat thanks to weaker sterling and closed up 0.08% to 7,422.43. The S&P 500 was down 0.4% by 4.30pm UK time. Morrisons fell 1.1% and Tesco was also down 1.1% as industry figures from Kantar showed they continued to lose market share to German discounter rivals Aldi and Lidl. Carpet seller Carpetright gained 3.8%, although it surrendered earlier larger gains, after it reported a return to like-for-like sales growth in its new financial year. LARGE AND MID CAP RISERS AND FALLERS Oil services company Petrofac dropped 6.8% as it warned that it expected its annual margins at its engineering and construction business to be at the lower end of its guidance range. Anglo American gained 0.3% despite the value of rough diamond sales for De Beers' fifth sales cycle of 2019 falling to $390m. Vehicle hire group Northgate dipped 2.3% as it booked a 15% rise in full-year profit, having boosted sales and margins in both the UK and Spain. SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS Online music retailer Gear4Music shed 7.8% after it swung to a net loss, as gross margins fell in a 'highly competitive' market. Health and social care provider Ashley House slumped 15.4% on warning that it might fail to meet market expectations, due to uncertainty over achieving financial close on three care schemes operated through its Morgan Ashley joint venture. Specialist engineering group Pressure Technologies dropped 7.5% after it only swung to a modest first-half profit, despite improving conditions in the oil and gas sector boosting sales. Paper products firm James Cropper reversed earlier losses to trade up 1% as higher pulp prices offset record revenue to send its annual pre-tax profit down to £2.6m, from £4.5m. Home collected credit company Morses Club fell 1.3% on announcing that credit issued was slightly down so far this year. Subsea cable protection company Tekmar jumped 11.5% as it swung to a full-year profit after winning new contracts in the booming offshore wind sector.
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