UK stocks edged lower in early trade on Tuesday ahead of the resumption of US-China trade talks later this week, while Boris Johnson appeared to be making little progress in Brexit talks with the EU. At 0849, the benchmark FTSE 100 index was down 7.04 points, or 0.1%, at 7.190.84. London Stock Exchange fell 6.0% to 7,004p after Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing dropped its £32bn bid for the British bourse operator. Easyjet declined 5.0% to 1,113.88p, despite forecasting a full-year profit at the upper end of its previous guidance range. The budget carrier also warned costs would jump 12%, due increased capacity, higher fuel costs and adverse FX movements. Iron-ore group Ferrexpo shed 0.8% to 154.95p as it downgraded its production guidance, blaming a tough market environment. Recruitment companies PageGroup and Robert Walters both warned on profits, sending their shares down 7.1% to 388p and 7.0% to 455.8p, respectively. Advertising company S4Capital rose 3.6% to 144.98p after it agreed to acquire tech-focused digital marketing agency Firewood in a deal that valued the target at $150m. S4Capital also launched a £100m equity raising at 142p per share to help fund the deal. Electric products distributor Electrocomponents gained 3.6% to 621.4p as it reported a 5% rise in first-half revenue on a like-for-like basis, owing to a strong performance in its industrial division. Auto retailer Motorpoint reversed 1.9% to 212.8 on guiding for first-half revenue growth of just 1%. The company also announced an up to £10m share buyback.
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