- The FTSE 100 remained in positive territory as investors reacted to speculation China would protect itself from the ongoing trade war through stimulus measures.

Blue-chip companies also benefited from weaker sterling, helping the index trade 0.9% higher at 7,787 around midday.

Brent crude oil was broadly unmoved at $74.62 per barrel.


Miner Glencore was boosted by higher commodity prices as first half profits rose 13%, but decided not to expand its share buyback programme, leaving the shares 0.2% lower at 325.5p.

Infrastructure supplier Hill & Smith plummeted 19.9% to £11.77 following a decline in profitability and easing back forecasts for the full year.

Gambling firm Paddy Power Betfair reversed 5% to £77.15 after downgrading earnings guidance as higher sales were offset by taxes in Australia and losses in its US fantasy business.

Asset manager Quilter, which was spun out of Old Mutual, revealed first half profit gains despite weaker market conditions thanks to positive inflows. The stock ticked 1.4% higher to 151.7p.

UDG Healthcare shed 5.7% to 772.5p after announcing a review of clinical services division Ashfield, reshuffling management and revealing weakness in the commercial business. The company also reported Ashfield vice-president Jez Moulding is resigning.

TI Fluid Systems gained 5.6% to 264p after managing to deliver higher profits despite a tough new car market.

Housebuilder Bellway announced it expects a rise in first half sales and slightly weaker operating margins, prompting investors to mark the stock 2.8% lower to £28.94.

Recruiter PageGroup enjoyed a strong performance from its offshore operations, helping to offset weakness in the UK, pushing the shares 2.2% higher to 612.5p.


Shares in Innovaderma catapulted 25.9% to 139.7p on the appointment of chief executive officer Kieran Callan, who used to work for PZ Cussons and the launch of haircare brand Roots in Tesco stores.

There was good news from TT Electronics after a surge in underlying profit, helping the shares rally nearly 17% to 256p.

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