StockMarketWire.com - The FTSE 100 was flat at 7,038 on a lack of corporate news and as traders began to sign off ahead of the Christmas holidays.

West Texas Intermediate and Brent crude oil both climbed by 0.6% to $53.65 and $55.70 per barrel, respectively.

Gold gained 0.4% to $1,136 per ounce and copper was stable at $5,511 per tonne.

FTSE 100 RISERS AND FALLERS

Cruise operator Carnival (CCL) drifted 1.2% lower as investors banked some profit after yesterday's rally on strong trading.

FTSE 250 RISERS AND FALLERS

Shares in aerospace peers Meggitt (MGGT) and QinetiQ (QQ.) went in opposite directions after QinetiQ agreed to buy Meggitt Defence Systems and Meggitt Holdings Canada for £57.5m. Meggitt nudged lower to 467.5p, while QinetiQ gained 4.7% to 260p.

SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Biomedical polymer tech firm AorTech (AOR) disappointed investors after it reported revenue declined from $380,000 to $240,000 and 'exceptional' administration costs due to litigation. Shares in the company crashed 28.2% to 16.8p.

The market was unhappy with bio-control products provider Eden Research's (EDEN) latest trading update. Management said it expects an EBITDA loss for the year to 31 December of approximately £1.1m. The stock declined 19.6% to 11.2p.

Leather goods business Pittards (PTD) issued a profit warning, which it blamed on the impact of social unrest on its tannery in Ethiopia and lower demand for leather. The stock fell 11% to 78.3p.

Tech-based security solutions firm Westminster Group (WSG) was boosted 13.2% by an upbeat trading statement. Management said it expects to report an improved financial performance for revenue and earnings before interested, tax, depreciation and amortisation for the year to 31 December.

Cloud-based e-commerce solutions provider CloudBuy (CBUY) jumped 14.8% to 3.8p after it said operating losses will be slightly lower than market expectations due to cost cutting measures.

Miner Beowulf Mining (BEM) slumped into negative territory as investors reacted to the dilution implied by a £1m fundraise in Sweden and the UK. It said the cash will be put towards progressing the company's assets in Finland and Sweden.

Russian mineral explorer Amur Minerals (AMC) was 14.4% higher as a new report on its MKF deposit at its Kun-Manie nickel-copper sulphide project revealed a larger amount of recoverable copper and nickel than previously estimated.

Non-invasive prenatal screening system (NIPT) developer Premiatha Health (NIPT) announced the conditional acquisition of NIPT provider Yourgene Bioscience.

Tech company Seeing Machines (SEE) entered a global distribution partnership with MiX Telematics to collaborate on a co-branded fatigue and distraction solution that integrates both companies' technologies.

Alecto Minerals (ALO) announced the proposed acquisition of Cradle Arc Investments, the owner of the Mowana Copper Mine in north eastern Botswana.

Aurum Mining (AUR) raised approximately £6m through a discounted shares placing. The firm said the funds will be used to focus on the acquisition and development of businesses operating within cyber security.


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