- An uplift in shares in miners and oil and gas companies following crude's two-year high on a political crackdown by Saudi Arabia failed to offset weakness in financial stocks.

Among the fallers were Standard Chartered (STAN) and Barclays (BARC), down 1% and 0.7% to 716.2p and 182p, respectively.

The FTSE 100 slipped 3.6 points to 7,556 around midday.

Brent crude jumped 0.6% to $62.46 per barrel. Gold gained 0.2% to $1,269 per ounce and copper was stable at $3.11 per pound.


Healthcare firm BTG (BTG) announced a £53.5m hit after losing a legal dispute with Wellstat Therapeutics over the commercialisation of the treatment Vistogard. The stock fell 5.6% to 735.5p in response.

Aldermore (ALD) recommended a bid from its peer First Rand and revealed a 12% increase in net loans over the third quarter, helping the shares rise 2.5% to 310p. The bid for Aldermore valued the bank at £1.1bn.

Synthomer (SYNT) continued to hunt for acquisition opportunities amid flat sales in its third quarter, prompting the shares in the chemicals business to drift 0.4% to 497.7p.

Elsewhere, Morgan Advanced Materials (MGAM) disappointed investors with a 2.1% fall in sales in the thermal products division, causing the stock to slip 2.3% to 317.4p.

Miner Rio Tinto (RIO) was up 1.2% to £37.72 following the appointment of Simon Trott to the new role of chief commercial officer.

Budget airline easyJet (EZJ) was flat at £13.14 despite a 9.9% jump in passenger numbers in October and a higher load factor - the percentage of available seats on scheduled flights occupied by passengers.

Hungarian airline Wizz Air (WIZZ) enjoyed a 1.3% lift in its shares to £33.26. This was driven by a 30.5% rise in passenger numbers in October thanks to the launch of new routes.


A full year profit warning from IT services company SysGroup (SYS) caused the stock to plummet 11.7% to 36.2p after its shift in focus to the managed services division impacted sales.

Support services group Carillion (CLLN) won two new contracts for Network Rail's Midland Mainline improvement programme. The stock ticked 1.6% higher to 46.7p.

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