- Investors appear to be holding their powder dry ahead of a huge week ahead for UK assets as MPs prepare to vote on the draft Brexit deal.

The vote is widely expected to result in a big defeat for Theresa May and her Government tomorrow.

By midday the FTSE 100 was flat at 6,782.46, doing a bit better than Asian markets which were struck by weaker than expected Japanese economic growth overnight. According to the futures markets the US is expected to open a bit lower later.

In corporate news, Interserve fell 51% to 11.95p, paring earlier heavier losses, as it announced a debt reduction plan which could result in 'material' dilution for shareholders.


Gulf country focused healthcare group NMC Health said it expected to grow its annual operating earnings by 38%, underpinned by both acquisitions and organic revenue growth. Its shares added 1.2% to £32.02.

Retirement income company Just Group surged 21.8% to 100p after it assessed that new UK rules on equity release mortgages were 'considerably less onerous' for the company than set out in a previous consultation paper.

Photo booth and laundry services company Photo-Me International dropped 12% to 95.3p as lax UK sales and the impact of restructuring costs in Japan dragged its profits around a fifth lower.

Renewable infrastructure company Greencoat Renewables gained 1.4% as it agreed to acquire the Monaincha and Garranereagh wind farms in Ireland from BlackRock for €88m.


Pharmaceutical group ValiRx jumped 18.2% to 1.42p on news that an independent analysis of data showed a positive response in a treatment trial for patients with prostate cancer.

People-screening technology provider Thruvision gained 5% to 28.3p after rising revenue helped it narrow first-half losses.

Payment data protection group PCI-PAL said it had signed a re-seller agreement with a 'major UK payment service provider'. Its shares gained 0.4% to 24.6p.

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