StockMarketWire.com - The FTSE 100 failed to drag itself out of the red as investors worried about trade tensions, Brexit, interest rates and the extent of the partial US government shutdown.

The blue-chip index closed 0.5% lower at 6,685 around midday. The UK stock market will re-open on 27 December.

Brent crude oil dipped 0.2% to $53.70 per barrel.

MID AND LARGE CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Miner Anglo American weakened 0.7% to £17.39 despite hiking production guidance for 2019 following regulatory approval relating to the Step Three licence area of the Minas-Rio operation in Brazil.

Gambling company Playtech reversed 7% to 370p on a warning that new Italian legislation is estimated to hit its 2019 adjusted earnings by approximately €20m to €25m. The legislation is expected to receive final approvals by the end of 2018.

Shares in Whitbread advanced 1.3% to £45.20 on confirmation that the European Union approved the sale of Costa Coffee to Coca-Cola.

Tritax Big Box REIT revealed it completed contracts for the forward funded development of a logistics fulfilment centre near Durham, which was pre-let to a 'world leading retailer.' The news failed to excite the market as the shares were down 1% at 133.3p.

SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Gas and condensate producer Victoria Oil & Gas rallied 51.5% to 24p after subsidiary Gaz du Cameroun signed a binding term sheet with Eneo Cameroon to resume gas supply to Logbaba power station.


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