London's FTSE 100 eases back in early trading, off 5.1 points to 6,846.2, in tandem with a late reversal by Asian markets as oil prices turned lower.
One of the session's big corporate stories involves TV and film rights business Entertainment One (ETO), which surges 7.3% higher to 233.3p despite rejecting a bid pitched at 236p and thought to be from ITV (ITV). Investors are hoping the broadcaster may well fatten up its bid for Entertainment One, known for its control of the rights to the Peppa Pig pre-school brand.
Private sector security outsourcer G4S (GFS) gains more than 14% at 223.4p as investors cheer interim results revealing significantly improved earnings and cash flow, supported by £1.4 billion of new contracts clinched in the half.
Online payments specialist Paysafe (PAYS) improves 5.4% to 412.1p on 'exceptional' first half results, boosted by its £800 million merger with Skrill, which drive further upgrades to its 2016 sales and earnings targets.
Central and Eastern European vodka producer Stock Spirits (STCK) froths 2.25p higher to 161.75p on the appointment of Mirek Stachowicz as its new CEO and interims flagging the start of a recovery in key market Poland.
Cancer and immunology-focused drug developer Midatech Pharma (MTPH:AIM) jumps 18% to 134p on an expected 1,000% rise in revenue to £3.8 million in the six months to 30 June, driven by new product launches.
Life sciences specialist Avacta (AVCT:AIM) advances 4.5% to 103p on securing a £3.8 million grant from the Medical Research Council to develop a diagnostic that spots the difference between a viral and bacterial infections.