StockMarketWire.com - The FTSE 100 dipped to 7,409 as stronger miners failed to offset weaker housebuilders.

According to media reports, bookmaker Paddy Power Betfair (PPB) is in discussions with online gambling firm CrownBet, the news helps the shares gain 3.1% to £87.99.

Rival William Hill (WMH) was flat at 282.1p on 'very preliminary discussions' over a potential merger of CrownBet and William Hill Australia.

Brent crude oil was static at $63.54 per barrel and copper advanced 0.7% to $3.16 per pound.

OVERSEAS MARKETS

After Thanksgiving in the US on Thursday, the stock markets moved into positive territory thanks to gains in retailers.

Black Friday, a US tradition that spread overseas, is anticipated to be one of the biggest trading days for the sector as the majority slash prices in a bid to lure shoppers at the start of the holiday season.

The S&P 500 rose 0.2% to 2,603 at 4:51pm UK time.

MID AND LARGE CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Marine services provider James Fisher & Sons (FSJ) kept its outlook for the year unchanged but was cautious over a slowdown in its offshore oil division.

Miner Rio Tinto (RIO) retreated 0.4% to £36.49 after extending its Channar iron ore mining joint venture in Australia with China's Sinosteel.

Home credit provider Provident Financial (PFG) was down 2.5% to 885.7p following news of the death of executive chairman Manjit Wolstenholme.

SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

London Pride brewer Fuller, Smith & Turner (FSTA) revealed adjusted pre-tax profits rose 4% to £23.8m, helping the shares fizz 1.2% higher to 977p, causing the stock to dip 1.4% to 951p.

Media business Future (FUTR) was down 0.5% at 382p despite a 43% jump in sales to £84.4m. The company also said it was considering paying a dividend in the year to 30 September.

On AIM, asset manager Miton (MGR) upgraded its guidance thanks to net inflows in the second half of the year and was confident of beating full year expectations. Shares in the firm rallied 10.4% to 38.8p.

Elsewhere shares in consultancy WYG (WYG) were in reverse, crashing 33.1% to 44.8p on a profit warning. The firm said that operating profit was now anticipated to be substantially lower than current market expectations of £3.5m to £4m.

Video security solutions company IndigoVision (IND) also slashed guidance. IndigoVision reported that difficult trading conditions meant that results would be below forecasts, while chief executive Marcus Kneen resigned, wiping off nearly a third of the company's value.

Oil producer Hardy Oil & Gas (HDY) fell 11.7% to 17p on a widened pre-loss of $2.04m in the six months to 30 September, up from $1.2m loss last year.


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