- Investors were resilient despite China saying it would impose $34bn of additional tariffs on US goods in retaliation to levies by US president Donald Trump.

The FTSE 100 dipped a mere 0.2% to 7,576, with gains in tobacco and telecom stocks offset by weakness in miners, chemicals and housebuilders.

In economic news, the UK experienced the strongest rise in service sector activity since October 2017 according to Markit's Purchasing Managers' Index, which rose from 54 in May to 55.1 in June. A reading over 50 implies growth while one under 50 suggests contraction.

Brent crude oil was broadly unmoved at $77.82 per barrel. Copper fell 0.9% to $2.88 per pound and gold increased 0.6% to $1,259 per ounce.


According to reports, Volcan Investments is considering taking over Anglo American's (AAL) South African interests and merging it with Vedanta Resources (VED) to create a $7bn entity. Shares in Anglo American jumped 3.2% to £16.95.

UK supermarket Sainsbury's (SBRY) nudged up 2% to 324.9p despite like-for-like sales in the quarter to June only rising 0.2%. The market instead liked news of a £3.5bn financing package for its proposed tie-up with Asda.

Transport operator National Express (NEX) won a major bus contract for several cities in Morocco, which is expected to generate €1bn over the life of the contract, causing the stock to advance 1.4% to 402.6p.

Adverse weather dragged on building products supplier SIG's (SHI) sales, down 0.6% in the half year to 30 June. The stock dipped 0.9% to 137.1p.

Oil major BP (BP.) was flat at 579.1p despite sealing a deal with ConocoPhillips to hike its stake from 16.5% to 45.1% in the Clair field and also sell its stake in the Kuparuk and satellite oilfields in Alaska.


Gaming software and services provider Nektan (NKTN) delivered a 10.9% jump in new gaming revenue in the three months to 30 June, pushing the shares 25.7% higher to 25.1p.

Ceramic products manufacturer Churchill China (CHH) enjoyed a 13.4% jump to £11.11 after revealing that full year trading would beat previous forecasts, driven by strong growth in Europe.

Miner Ovoca Gold (OVG) rallied 9.5% to 11.5p on the news it would buy up to a 59.9% stake in Russian female sexual dysfunction drug maker IVIX for $6.2m, and rename itself Ovoca Bio.

Topps Tiles (TPT) continued to struggle following a 2.3% drop in like-for-like sales in its third quarter as a weaker consumer environment further damaged trading. Its shares slipped 0.8% to 62.5p.

Connect Group (CNCT) renewed its long term contract with News UK to July 2024, sparking a 6.9% share price gain to 31.7p.

In its latest trading update, McKay Securities (MCKS) hiked its final dividend by 14.2% amid robust trading, helping the stock rise 2.7% to 269p.

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