The FTSE 100 takes its cue from weak trading in Asia overnight and weakness in commodity markets to slip 0.2% to 7,303.55 early on.
Non-life insurer Lancashire Holdings (LRE) expects to report a loss in the third quarter owing to an expected loss of $30m from claims within its marine portfolio. The company also says it expected further losses in the range of $25m to $45m from exposure to natural catastrophes.
The company cited several including hurricane Florence, and typhoons Jebi, Mangkhut and Trami. The shares drop 4.6% to 560p.
Retailer French Connection (FCCN) confirms it is currently reviewing all strategic options to deliver maximum value for its shareholders, including a potential sale of the company. The shares surge 44.5% to 62p on the news.
The retailer says, however, that there was no certainty that either an offer would be made for the company, or the terms on which any offer would be made.
Under market rules, French Connection is now considered to be in an 'offer period', Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct (SPD) owns 26.7% of the firm.
Talks were ongoing and there could be no certainty they would lead to any formal arrangement being entered into, the company says.
Schroders made the statement after Sky News reported Lloyds wanted to merge its wealth management arm into a new joint venture with Schroders. Lloyds is flat at 59p.
However, on a like-for-like basis, revenue fell 7%, reflecting tough times for print media. Circulation and publishing print advertising revenue fell by 4% and 20%, respectively. The shares slip 2.6% to 63.9p.
London-focused estate agent Foxtons (FOXT) gains 3.5% to 56p after rival Knight Frank reports earnings growth in its latest financial year.
Revenue visibility has now broken through the $30m mark, the company adds. Back in August revenue visibility for the year stood at $27.2m.
'Since that statement, a number of further transactions have been signed resulting in a record third quarter performance, traditionally our quietest quarter due to the holiday period,' Sopheon adds.
The shares respond, gaining 10.9% to £10.07.
Revenue for the nine months through September rose to £146.1m, supported by acquisitions. The shares tick up 1.6% to £30.48.