- The FTSE 100 saw accelerated losses by midday, down 0.6% to 6,693.32, after a profit warning from Apple overnight.

The consumer electronics giant blamed weak Chinese trading for its worse than expected quarterly revenue performance, helping to revive fears over a slowdown created by the trade tensions between the US and China.

US futures markets are also pointing to big falls when trading gets under way on Wall Street later.


Fashion retailer Next added 3.7% to £43.31 after it reported strong sales in the pre-Christmas trading period in line with its September guidance, but lowered its full-year profit guidance slightly.

Foreign exchange service Alpha FX Group jumped 6.8% to 603.4p after it said Thursday it expected earnings for the year through December 2018 to be ahead of market expectations amid ongoing 'strong' performance.

UK drug manufacturer Vectura leapt 14.5% to 81p after it said on Thursday it predicted its adjusted earnings in 2018 would "materially" exceed market expectations due to productivity initiatives and margin improvements.

Irish budget carrier Ryanair edged higher as it said on Thursday it grew its December traffic by 12% to 10.3m customers.

Fellow low-cost airline Wizz Air moved up 3.7% to £28.54 after said it grew its passenger numbers and load factor in December as it announced 14 new routes.


Cyber security company Corero Network Security slumped 8.2% to 11.7p despite saying it expected to halve full-year earnings losses from a year earlier even as revenue growth was predicted to fall short of expectations.

Mobile commerce company Bango rose 1.9% to 90.7p as it confirmed Thursday that Carolyn Rand had been appointed as permanent chief financial officer from 1 January.

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