- With a key cabinet meeting due to begin at 2pm on the draft Brexit deal the FTSE 100 had recovered some ground by midday, up a handful of points to 7,061.46.

A stabilised oil price helped index heavyweights BP and Royal Dutch Shell to recover some ground although both remained lower.


Engineering company Smiths Group rose 6.4% to £13.99 on news that it planned to separate its underperforming medical division from the rest of the company.

Power utility SSE gained 3.4% to £11.70, despite posting a deep first-half loss, as underlying profits came in slightly ahead of its downgraded expectations.

SSE also said it was planning to create a new separate company for its renewable energy assets.

UK commercial landlord British Land reported a pre-tax loss of £42m in the six months ending 30 September, compared to a profit of £238m last year. It also saw a 2.9% fall in net asset value of its properties. The shares rise 3.6% to 642.2p as investors focused on a solid performance from its office assets.

Flexible office provider Workspace Group added 2.2% to 986p after higher rental income boosted its underlying earnings and prompted a 20% hike in its interim dividend.

Financial services group Prudential said new business profit in its insurance and Asian divisions rose in the first nine months of the year. Its shares fell ticked up 1.2% to £16.35.

Residential landlord Grainger fell 3.6% to 280.4p after it launched a discounted share issue to buy out its Grip REIT joint venture with APG for £396m.


Car retailer Marshall Motor jumped 5.1% to 154.5p, as it forecast a rise in annual profit amid a better-than-expected October.

Ex-WPP chief Martin Sorrell's new advertising business S4 Capital gained 2% to 115.8p after its revenue and profit both jumped in the third quarter.

Sports nutrition group Science in Sport slumped 12% to 61.6p after it said it would issue new shares at a discount to fund the acquisition of protein brand PhD Nutrition for £32m.

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