Donald Trump’s move to slap tariffs on Brazil and Argentina stoked fresh concerns over global trade pushing UK stocks down in early trading. The FTSE 100 was off 0.2% to 7,272 while the FTSE 250 gave up 5 points at 20,676.
Plumbing and heating distributor Ferguson (FERG) reported underlying profit up 5% to $433m for the three months to October while also maintaining its full year expectations despite a flat US market. The shares fell 0.2% to £66.43.
Box office revenues, which account for the bulk of sales, fell 12.8% in the 11 months to 1 December. Retail sales of food and drink for consumption within cinemas, the group's second most significant source of revenue, fell 7.4%.
Meanwhile the integration benefits from the Regal acquisition were greater than anticipated, with synergies running at $190m compared with $150m expected, lifting the shares 3.7% to 213p.
Strong Black Friday trading gave online fashion retailer Boohoo (BOO:AIM) a boost with record sales over the weekend, with the company saying that trading remained strong across its key brands at the half year stage, pushing the shares up 2.9% to 308.1p.
Hungarian based low cost airline Wizz Air (WIZZ) reported that it flew 24% more passengers in November as it added more routes to Georgia, Lithuania, Poland and Ukraine, while the load factor rose to 92.6%. The shares wafted up 0.7% to £39.85.
Gold miner Centamin (CYE) received an all-share merger proposal from Canadian miner Endevour Mining, pushing its shares up 11.3% to 123.5p. The company reported third-quarter gold production down 17% leading to a decline in sales.
Pawnbroker Ramsdens (RFX:AIM) reported a 23% rise in first-half profit, driven by increased jewellery sales and foreign exchange income as revenues rose 30% to £32.5m. The shares jumped 2.2% to 204.5p.
Forward bookings of £152m were already contracted for 2020, representing 66% of market consensus and up 4% on a like-for-like basis, the company said. The shares were unmoved at 82.6p.