StockMarketWire.com - The FTSE 100 was up 0.27% to 7,113.23 approaching midday on Monday as oil prices fell despite the US re-imposing sanctions on major producer Iran and after a weak reading from the UK services sector.

The purchasing managers index data on services showed expansion at its second-lowest level in more than 24 months in October.

LARGE AND MID CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Specialist insurer Hiscox shed 6.5% to £15.39 after it warned that growth in premiums would moderate toward the tail-end of the year.

Television broadcaster ITV dipped 0.2% to 155.5p, as it announced that it had poached software group Micro Focus International's chief bean counter Chris Kennedy as its new chief financial officer.

Micro Focus separately announced it expected its annual revenue to be at the better end of its guidance for a 6-9% fall, and that it would extend its share buy-back programme. Its shares gained 4.8% to £12.91.

Ryanair said passenger numbers grew by 11% during the month of October on-year, even though it also had to cancel more than 300 flights during the period. The budget carrier's shares dipped 0.4% to €12.72.

Sirius Minerals gained 2.1% to 24.3p, as it entered into a construction contract with McLaughlin & Harvey for the development of a port handling facility to support its flagship fertilizer project in Yorkshire.

Plastics packaging company RPC Group gained 1.9% to 797.6p despite revealing takeover suitors Apollo Global Management and Bain Capital needed more time to decide on whether to make a firm offer for the company.

SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Serica Energy rallied 6.9% to 127.25p on news that it had acquired an additional interest in some North Sea oil fields from BHP Billiton. Serica also confirmed that it had satisfied conditions needed to obtain a sanctions waiver from US authorities to develop its North Sea assets.


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