The FTSE 100 moved nearly 1% higher to 7,192 as investors awaited the publication of the minutes from the latest meeting of the US Federal Reserve. These might offer some clues into the future direction of interest rates across the pond.

Plumbing group Ferguson (FERG) gained 1.6% amid reports it was considering switching to a US listing under pressure from activist investor Trian Fund Management.

Oil and gas firm Nostrum Oil & Gas (NOG) fell 24% to 26.6p as it reported falling production and revenue for the first half.

Pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca (AZN) fell 0.4% to £72.42. after announcing that a lung cancer treatment failed to improve survival rates compared with chemotherapy during a clinical trial.

Hostel-focused online booking platform Hostelworld (HSW) slumped 10% owing to a fall in first-half profit, cut to its dividend and profit warning for the full year.

Consultancy firm Science Group (SAG:AIM) fell 2.4% to 183.1p as it agreed to lift its holding in Frontier Smart Technologies (FST:AIM) to a controlling 52%, while offering to buy out the rest of the shares for 25p each.

Science Group also offered the struggling radio technology group, expected in December to breach its debt covenants, a potential replacement credit facility. Frontier shares were unchanged at 24p.

Software provider Brady (BRY:AIM) reversed 0.9% to 56p after it warned on profits, blaming a failure to convert its business pipeline into as much revenue as hoped.

Packaging company Robinson (RBN:AIM) gained 1.3% to 79p, as it eked out a modest first-half profit driven by rising sales, offset by recruitment and training costs.

Specialist lender Orchard Funding (ORCH:AIM) shed 2% to 75p despite announcing that it boosted its annual lending volumes and revenue, and had also decided to apply for its own banking licence.

Regal Petroleum (RPT:AIM) firmed 7% to 35p as it increased the proven resource estimate at its Vasyschevskoye gas and condensate licence in Ukraine.

Asiamet Resources (ARS:AIM) gained 7.6% to 3.88p after it signed a non-binding agreement with a Chinese company to develop its BKM copper mine in Kalimantan, Indonesia.

Find out how to deal online from £1.50 in a SIPP, ISA or Dealing Account.

Issue Date: 21 Aug 2019