The FTSE 100 looks on course for a strong finish to the week amid expectations China is about to unleash a wave of financial stimulus.

This is supporting the mining sector as investors react to the positive implications this news would have for commodities demand. Early on the index is up 0.9% to 7,432.13.

Engineering company Smiths Group (SMIN) posts a 28% fall in annual profit after a regulatory suspension of some of its products in Europe and the loss of US customers hurt its medical division.

The company also announces it has sold the medical division's sterile water bottling business to Amsino Healthcare for an enterprise value of $40m. Pre-tax profit for the year through July falls to £435m, as revenue slips 2% to £3.21bn.

A plan to merge the medical business with US-based ICU Medical in a £7bn transaction recently collapsed.

Takeaway deliveries platform Just Eat (JE.) drops 6.4% to 662.4p on reports heavyweight disruptor Uber is in early talks to buy its rival Deliveroo, investors reacting to the potential competitive threat.

Suit hire firm Moss Bros (MOSB) falls 18% to 38.1p as it warns on profit blaming hot summer weather and the ‘distraction’ of the World Cup.

Building products supplier SIG (SHI) posts a lower-than-expected profit in the first half after severe winter weather crimped demand.

Pre-tax profit for the six months through June amounts to £19.9m, compared to a loss of £15.8m a year earlier.

But when one-off gains or losses are stripped out, underlying profit falls 28% to £26.9m. The shares drop 2.9% to 117.6p.

Service station retailer Applegreen (APGN:AIM) reports improved first half profits and revenues even as performance took a hit from severe weather in March.

For the six months ended 30 June 2018, pre-tax profit is up to €9.13m from €8.91m a year earlier and revenue increases by 27% to €854.9m.

Applegreen shares remain suspended at 538p as it negotiates the purchase of a majority stake in Welcome Break service stations, a deal that would constitute a reverse takeover under stock market rules.

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Issue Date: 21 Sep 2018