- Amid a lack of news from a key cabinet meeting on the draft Brexit deal, the FTSE 100 was in the doldrums, trading 0.3% lower at 7,033.

In Europe, sentiment was also sour with declines of up to 0.4% in some indices.

Wall Street initially enjoyed a stronger performance on opening, but slipped into the red with the Dow Jones declining 0.4% to 25,173 at around 4:45pm UK time.

Brent crude oil increased 2% to $66.82 per barrel.


Engineering company Smiths Group rose 5.2% to £13.84 on news that it planned to separate its underperforming medical division from the rest of the company.

Power utility SSE gained 5.6% to £11.94, 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 were flat at 622.8p as investors focused on a solid performance from its office assets.

Flexible office provider Workspace Group added 1.3% to 977.5p 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 were broadly unmoved at £16.13.

Residential landlord Grainger fell 4.5% to 277.8p after it launched a discounted share issue to buy out its Grip REIT joint venture with APG for £396m.


Car retailer Marshall Motor jumped 9.5% to 161p, 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 115.7p after its revenue and profit both jumped in the third quarter.

Sports nutrition group Science in Sport slumped 13.4% to 60.6p 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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