StockMarketWire.com - The FTSE 100 struggled on Friday with earlier gains wiped out in late morning trading thanks to the broadcast of a news interview where Donald Trump threatened to put tariffs on all Chinese imports.

At 11.55am it traded 0.2% lower at 7,671.

Insurance companies and resources stocks were notably weak including a 1.5% drop in Admiral to £19.56 and a 1.2% decline in Direct Line to 335.5p.

The oil price had risen earlier in the day as the market started to be more relaxed about supply issues. Royal Dutch Shell changed direction just after 11am and traded 0.5% lower at £27.30 just before midday.

Among the blue chip risers, Ocado led the field with a 2.4% gain to £10.83.

MID AND LARGE CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Lloyd's of London insurer Beazley said pre-tax profit fell by 64% to $57.5m in the first half of 2018, causing the shares to fall 5.5% to 527p.

Fertiliser development specialist Sirius Minerals sealed two offtake deals for its potash mine in Yorkshire, which could help encourage potential financiers to lend money to help build its mine. The stock strengthened 1.7% to 33.9p.

Shares in computer games services provider Keywords Studios added 1.1% to £18.08 on the acquisition of Canada-based video game developer Snowed In Studios for $4m.

SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Biopharma firm PureTech Health got a 5.9% shot to 144p after entering a multi-year collaboration with Roche to advance its milk-derived exosome platform tech for the oral delivery of the latter's platform.

Audio visual equipment supplier Midwich revealed its full year results were likely to beat forecasts thanks to a strong sales momentum, prompting investors to mark the shares 4.1% higher to 690p.

Budget hotel operator EasyHotel acquired a freehold site in Dublin for €9m, but costs to support its expansion across Europe were anticipated to reduce earnings by £750,000 in the next two years. Its shares were flat at 115p.


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