The FTSE 100 was trading down slightly ahead of trade talks between the US and China which are set to resume in Washington. Should the talks fail to make any progress then the US intends to increase tariffs on Chinese goods. At 8.45am the UK's benchmark index was 0.45% lower, down 32.38 points, to 7,134.12. Paper and packaging company Mondi (MNDI) was one of the biggest fallers, 3.3% lower to 1,459p. It reported an 18% decline in underlying EBITDA for the third quarter of 2019 to €383m, as demand remained generally softer and prices for key paper grades were below those of the first half. The company said planned mill maintenance shuts during the quarter had an estimated impact on underlying EBITDA of around €40m, up from €30m in 2018. Homewares retailer Dunelm Group (DNLM) descended 5.34% to 771.50p as it said like-for-like sales increased 6% in its fiscal first quarter despite the recent softness in the homewares market and the increased political uncertainty. Like for like sales increased by 6.4% in the first quarter, while total growth was up 7.5% to £262.6m from a year earlier. Hargreaves Lansdown (HL) moved 1.29% lower to 1,793p as the wealth manager reported that net assets grew 3% in the third quarter of the year, while net new business was impacted by 'weak' investor sentiment arising from ongoing Brexit and political uncertainty in the UK and wider global macro issues such as trade tariffs. Automotive distributor Inchcape (INCH) was up 0.66% to 610p after it agreed to sell its Inchcape Fleet Solutions business to Toyota for £100m. Premier Asset Management (PAM) edged up 0.11% to 176.70p having reported a slight decline in assets under management, as it saw outflows of £246m for the fourth quarter ended 30 September 2019. Avesoro Resources (ASO) declined 4.86% to 88p as it said full-year guidance remained under review after operational issues hurt production in the third quarter. New Liberty gold production fell 57% to 22,678 ounces in the third quarter from the previous quarter, and Youga gold production slipped 6% to 14,619 ounces in the quarter, from the second quarter.
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