StockMarketWire.com - The FTSE struggled to hold on to its gains from Thursday after US President Donald Trump threatened to impose $100bn worth of tariffs on Chinese goods late last night.

The blue-chip index lost 11.1 points, trading at 7,188 around midday.

In the US, equities rose yesterday but these gains could be erased when the market opens later.

In Asia, Hong Kong's Hang Seng was the only index to rise, closing 1.1% higher at 29,844.

Brent crude oil slipped 0.4% to $68 per barrel.

MID AND LARGE CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Budget airline easyJet (EZJ) revealed a 3.4% rise in passenger numbers in March compared to a year ago. Shares in easyJet dipped 0.2% as investors may have expected higher figures due to the demise of other rivals last year.

SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Car dealer Motorpoint (MOTR) accelerated 9.4% to 237.4p after announcing profit is anticipated to reach the top end of expectations despite cautious optimism on the UK used car market.

Equipment hire specialist VP (VP.) announced it will reveal full year results in line with expectations, driven by strong progress over the winter period, pushing its shares 4.5% higher to 857p.

Electricals retailer AO World (AO.) was broadly unmoved at 115.2p despite reporting that full year sales are expected to hit the top end of analysts' expectations.

Fuel technology firm Quadrise Fuels (QFI) warned a project in Saudi Arabia that was expected to trial its fuel technology is unlikely to proceed as planned, triggering a 18.4% crash in the shares to 3.1p.

Shield Therapeutics (STX) rallied 29% to 20p after US regulatory authorities said it did not have to conduct additional clinical trials before submitting a new drug application for iron deficiency drug Feraccru.


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