UK stocks edged lower in midday trading 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 1pm the benchmark FTSE 100 index was down 12 points or 0.2% at 7,185. Shares in London Stock Exchange fell 5.2% to £70.65 after Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing dropped its £32bn bid for the British bourse operator. MID- AND SMALL-CAP MOVERS On the FTSE 250, airline operator Easyjet dived 7.2% to £10.88 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 to increased capacity, higher fuel costs and adverse FX movements. Iron-ore group Ferrexpo shed 4% to 150p as it downgraded its production outlook blaming a tough market environment. Recruitment companies PageGroup and Robert Walters both warned on profits, sending their shares down 13% and 5% to two-year lows of 362p and 467p respectively. Auto retailer Motorpoint reversed 2.3% to 212p after guiding for first-half revenue growth of just 1%. The company also announced a share buyback of up to £10m. Bucking the negative trend, electric products distributor Electrocomponents gained 3% to 618p 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. Also, advertising company S4Capital rose 6% to 148p 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.
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