- The FTSE 100 had a strong start this week as US-North Korean tensions cooled and banking stocks advanced.

HSBC (HSBA) was up 1% to 746.3p and Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) gained 1.4% to 260.1p.

Standard Life's (SLA) completed merger with Aberdeen Asset Management moved the share price 1.5% higher to 416.9p.

The blue-chip index traded 0.6% higher at 7,354 in midday trading.

Brent crude oil dipped 0.8% to $51.68 per barrel. Gold and copper cheapened 0.6% to $1,280 per ounce and 0.8% to $6,371 per tonne.


Further signs that China's economy was entering a second-half economic slowdown and tensions on the Korean peninsula were brushed off by investors in Hong Kong and China.

However, Japan's Nikkei 225 dipped 1% lower this morning to 19,537.


Clarkson (CKN) defied difficult shopping and offshore markets as it delivered a 12% jump in pre-tax profit to £23.5m in the first half of the year, helping the stock advance 1.7% to £26.89.


In the logistics sector, John Menzies (MNZS) terminated merger talks with DX Group (DX.), prompting the shares to rise 1.1% to 706p, while DX was flat up 3.3% to 9.8p.

Chief executive Oozi Cats at Telit Communications (TCM) decided to step down from the board after it emerged he was previously indicted in the US. Shares in the firm jumped 6.6% to 142p.

LightwaveRP (LWRF) surged 22% to 29.2p following its announcement that its next generation Apple Home Kit product range was set for launch in Apple stores in the UK and the United Arab Emirates.

Filtronic (FTC) was up 6.7% to 13.1p on a new three-year deal, which is expected to generate sales of approximately £4.8m. The agreement was with a major European defence equipment manufacturer.

Nearly a fifth of Mirada's (MIRA) value was wiped off despite reporting an increase in licence volumes from Televisa, the owner of izzi Telecom, in the last two months thanks to it securing more subscribers.

On AIM, Gulf Keystone Petroleum (GKP) failed to inspire the market as the company reiterated its production guidance of 32,000 to 38,000 barrels of oil per day. The share price dropped 1.8% to 94.3p.

Elsewhere, software systems designer Arcontech (ARC) warned that the sales cycle is unpredictable and remained longer than it 'would like.' Investors overlooked higher pre-tax profit and strong cash generation as the stock fell 6% to 63p.

Shares in Tern (TERN) suffered a 12.9% tumble to 6.9p after doubling the size of its fundraising from £300,000 to £600,000, priced at a discounted 6.6p.

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