StockMarketWire.com - By midday the FTSE 100 was down 1.2% to 6,940.02 back to the lows seen in late October thanks largely to the actions of politicians on both sides of the Atlantic.

Donald Trump's combative tweets on trade undermined hopes a ceasefire between the US and China would be a stepping stone to a resolution of the tensions between the two countries.

In the UK a series of defeats for the Government overnight raised the prospect of MPs having greater control over the Brexit process and potentially steering the process in a 'softer' direction.

This prospect appeared to behind a recovery in sterling from the initial lows seen overnight, negatively impacting the relative value of FTSE 100 constituents' overseas earnings.

LARGE AND MID CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Pharmaceuticals firm Shire gained 2.6% to £46.70 after shareholders at its Japanese suitor Takeda approved a £46bn takeover of the group. Shire shareholders are set to vote on the deal imminently.

Train and bus company Stagecoach Group gained 13.8% to 175.1p despite swinging to a first-half loss owing to a write down at its US business.

Underlying profit fell by less than expected and the company upgraded its full-year guidance, while announcing the US business was up for sale.

Oil services company Wood Group reversed 2.2% to 638.4p, despite announcing that it had won a $43m contract to construct 80 miles of steel pipeline in west Texas.

Logistics property investor Tritax Big Box REIT secured £400m of debt to fund potential acquisitions. Its shares advanced 1.1% to 134.5p

SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Broking and advisory group Numis Corporation shed 0.5% to 275.8p as it posted a 17% fall in full-year profit after higher investment spending, including on staff, offset rising revenue.

Fashion retailer Joules jumped 10.1% to 227.8p after it said in a trading update that it boosted revenue by 18% in the first half of its financial year.

Eastern Europe-focused alcoholic drinks company Stock Spirits gained 4.5% to 204p after it posted a 14% rise in annual profit, as it boosted sales in its key markets of Poland and the Czech Republic.

Embattled cafe chain Patisserie, whose shares are still suspended, delivered a rare piece of good news, announcing that it had poached the former finance director of veterinary company CVS Group as its interim chief financial officer.


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