Markets start the week on a positive note on signs that the US and China are close to agreeing a tariff deal which could put an end to the trade war.

Asian stocks climb with China’s Shanghai Composite and Japan Nikkei index both gaining 1% while oil prices also gain ground and the US Dollar slips.

In the UK the FTSE 100 index gains 0.3% to 7,127 points with most sectors trading higher bar Pharmaceuticals, which is a classic ‘defensive’ play, and Tobacco.

Insurer Aviva (AV.) announces the appointment of a new chief executive officer, Maurice Tulloch, effective today. Tulloch has been at Aviva since 1992 and is currently chief executive of the international business.

After the unexpected departure of former chief executive Mark Wilson last October shareholders welcome the appointment of an Aviva ‘lifer’ and the shares tick up 0.5% to 434p.

Biggest loser on the FTSE 100 is cigarette giant British American Tobacco (BATS), down 2% to £28.15 after a negative ruling against its Canadian subsidiary in a class action suit.

The firm said it was ‘extremely disappointed‘ by the ruling and will appeal the decision all the way to the Supreme Court but the case once again shows the risks of investing in tobacco stocks.

Shares in clothing retailer Ted Baker (TED) fall 4% to £18.09 on news that founder and chief executive Ray Kelvin has resigned with immediate effect.

Mr Kelvin had taken a voluntary leave of absence in December after allegations of misconduct including ‘hugging’ were made against him.

Acting chief executive Lindsay Page will continue in this role.

Newspaper group Daily Mail (DMGT) announces that it will distribute all of its shares in Euromoney (ERM) to 'certain holders' of Daily Mail non-voting shares after a Board review decided that the firm should return almost £900m of assets to investors.

The move is seen as tightening the Rothermere family’s control of the group as it increases their stake in the non-voting shares from 24% to 36%. The family already controls 100% of the voting shares.

Daily Mail rises 5% to 680p while Euromoney dips 3% to £12.59.

Shares in widget-maker Rotork (ROR) fall 8% to 273p after the company reports in-line full year results for 2018 but indicates that first half sales will be down on last year.

Life sciences firm Abcam (ABC) is another casualty with shares down 15% at £11.36 after its interim results and its outlook for the second half of the year fail to cheer investors

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

Issue Date: 04 Mar 2019