- Just over 24 hours after many people were looking towards the 8,000 mark for the FTSE 100, the index is in full retreat.

Negative comments from US president Donald Trump on US-China trade talks overnight started the rot and this was exacerbated by weaker oil prices as investors took the opportunity to book some profit.

Shares in Barclays (BARC) fell 1.1% to 208.7p amid reports it is considering a merger with rival banks. Standard Chartered, one of the names identified, was up 0.5% to 770.7p.


After initially recovering some of the ground lost on Tuesday the S&P 500 turned south again by 4pm UK time, down 0.4% to 2,712.64.


Fashion-to-food retailer Marks & Spencer (MKS) was marked up 5.3% to 307.3p on full year results. Pre-tax profit slumped 62% to £66.8m after store closure costs, although the 5.4% drop in underlying pre-tax profit to £580.9m was actually a bit better than the market's subdued expectations.

Soft drinks firm Britvic (BVIC) fizzed 7% higher to 812.5p after serving up solid half year results showing a strong second half sales rebound in spite of poor weather. There's a positive outlook statement from CEO Simon Litherland, whose Fruit Shoot-to-Robinsons producing charge appears to be coping well with the sugar tax; investors were also treated to a 9.7% hike in the dividend to 7.9p.

Elsewhere, IT infrastructure services specialist Softcat (SCT) skipped 8.4% higher to 716.8p on news full year results should beat market expectations, market conditions and customer demand both remaining strong during the third quarter to April.

Restaurant Group (RTN), which owns the Frankie & Benny's and Garfunkel's chains, gained 3.6% to 324.8p, as investors looked past a weather-related revenue slump and focused on a slowing sales decline in the second quarter of the year.

Engineering services outsourcer Babcock International (BAB) improved 26% to 784.6p as full year sales come in ahead of market estimates, Babcock raises the dividend for the seventeenth consecutive year and reports a year-end order book and bid pipeline worth £31bn.

Plastic piping and ventilation system manufacturer Polypipe Group (PLP) shed 3.5% to 401.4p after it reported that revenue in the first four months of the financial year had slipped 0.9% due to adverse weather.

Dairy Crest (DCG) soured 7.1% to 498.6p, despite the British dairy company reporting strong annual results and good sales growth momentum going into the new financial year, as investors react to the dilution arising from a placing to fund the expansion of its cheese production capacity.


Stride Gaming (STR) fell 11.9% to 178p as the market overlooked positive half year results and focused on a cautious outlook statement. Stride stated that 'whilst the UK remains the largest regulated online gaming market in the world it is experiencing greater regulatory and fiscal focus than ever before which is making it a more challenging market to operate in.'

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