The FTSE 100 dropped 58 points or 1% to 5,832 points at lunchtime on Wednesday as markets awaited signs of progress on talks over further US stimulus.

Sentiment also took a hit as Netflix disappointed the market after the market close and the shares traded down 7% in after-hours dealing. Even companies which have beaten forecasts, such as Johnson & Johnson and Lockheed Martin, have failed to react positively afterwards.

Brent crude was 1% lower at $42.50 a barrel while gold was 0.4% higher at $1,918 an ounce. The pound gained 0.9% against the US dollar at $1.307.


Shares in embattled challenger bank Metro Bank (MTRO) gained 2.3% to 60.9p after it said it had grown its loan book in the third quarter, driven by government-backed lending to small business.

Loan volumes in the three months through September increased to £15.09 billion, up 2% compared to the first half and up 1% year-on-year.

Deposit volumes of £15.62 billion were flat compared to the first half, but up 10% year-on-year.

In a trading update for the 1 July to 20 October period, Property investor Segro (SGRO) said it had collected 85% of rent due in the fourth quarter, higher than at the equivalent date in the second and third quarters.

The company also announced that it had acquired the Electra Park urban warehouse estate in Canning Town, London, from Schroders for £133 million. The shares dipped 1.1% to 927p.


On a busy day for mining companies, Fresnillo (FRES) maintained its production guidance for silver but trimmed its gold guidance as the pandemic slowed activity. The company also reported a fall in quarterly production across its products in the third quarter.

Silver production guidance for 2020 remained in the range of 51 to 56 million ounces, while gold production was now expected to be in a range of 745,000 to 775,000 ounces, down from 785 to 815 ounces previously forecast. Shares dropped 5% to £12.67.

Fellow miner Antofagasta (ANTO) said it expected production at the lower end of its guidance range and estimated Covid-19 restrictions at its operations would continue through 2021. The company also reported a fall in third-quarter output.

Looking ahead to 2021, the company expected production to be in the range of 730-to-760,000 tonnes of copper, as grades increase at its centinela concentrates, and it conservatively assumed that COVID-19 health protocols would stay in place for the whole year. Shares eased 0.1% to £10.45.

Shares in FTSE 250 gold miner Centamin (CEY) cratered 20% to 130p after saying 2021 production would be 400,000-to-430,000 ounces, below the reaffirmed 2020 production of 445,000-to-455,000 ounces.

Precious metals miner Hochschild Mining (HOC) said it was on track to deliver on its revised 2020 production target of 280,000-to-290,000 of gold equivalent. Shares reversed 0.6% to 247.7p.


Cybersecurity company Avast (AVST) reaffirmed its outlook after reporting a rise in earnings and revenue in the third quarter.

For the three months to 30 September, adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) increased 3.3% to $126.0 million year-on-year and adjusted revenue rose 2.6% to $226.0 million. Shares gave up 0.5% to 510p.

Gambling company William Hill (WMH) said third-quarter revenue had fall 9% year-on-year, marking an improvement from previous quarters as some live sporting events resumed.

The company, which recently agreed to be acquired by Caesars Entertainment, said the fall compared to a steeper drop of 32% recorded for the first half.

Revenue at the company's online and US businesses rose during the third quarter, offset by a fall at its bricks and mortar retail business. Shares traded sideways to 280p.

Irish drinks group C&C (CCR) said it had returned to profitability during the month of September, but warned of weakness in its on-trade business as Covid-19 restrictions returned in October.

For the six months ended 31 August 2020, pre-tax losses were €25.4 million compared with a loss of €56.6m year-on-year as revenue slumped 55.4% to €286.7 million.

C&C said it had returned to profit alongside the reopening of the on-trade in July, but warned the outlook for the sector remained challenging with limited near-term visibility. Shares climbed 1.1% to 179p.

Wealth manager Quilter (QLT) said assets under management for the three months through September increased 1.2% to £109.5 billion, up from £108.2 billion.

Quilter recorded net inflows for the period of £0.4 billion, the same level as a year earlier. Shares gained 0.2% to 129.5p.

Specialist social care provider CareTech Holdings (CTH:AIM) said it continued to trade ahead of market expectations with strong cash conversion and accelerated reduction in net debt to £268.9 million. The shares added 2.5% to 470p.




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Issue Date: 21 Oct 2020