- Oil majors BP and Royal Dutch Shell fell amid oil price declines on speculation that sanctions will not impact Iran's oil output as previously thought.

Brent crude oil dropped 1.5% to $82.87 per barrel.

BP reversed 1.8% to 577.8p and Shell slipped 1% to £26.07.

Around midday, the FTSE 100 traded 0.5% lower at 7,278.


Lancashire warned it expects approximately $30m in third quarter losses due to claims in its marine portfolio. The insurer also said it anticipated further losses of between $25m to $45m from exposure to natural catastrophes, prompting investors to mark the stock 5.5% lower to 554.5p.

Wealth manager Schroders announced it is in discussion with high street bank chain Lloyds about 'working closely together' in parts of the wealth sector.


Embattled retailer French Connection soared 28.2% to 55p after putting itself up for sale as it ponders its strategic options to deliver the most value for shareholders.

Daily Mirror publisher Reach revealed like-for-like sales fell 7% as print advertising remained under pressure. Investors took the news in their stride after third quarter sale rose 21% in the third quarter, leaving the shares flat at 65.3p.

Drug developer Diurnal crashed 61% to 42p after its Chronocort adrenal insufficiency treatment failed to meet its primary objective in Phase III trial.

Software group Sopheon benefitted from new business wins in the third quarter as it now expects its annual results to beat market expectations. Shares in the company rallied 13% to £10.25.

XP Power reported sales growth of 18% in the first nine months of the year, but this failed to spark the stock at £30.

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