- Concerns over global growth are putting global stocks on the back foot and the FTSE 100 was down 0.4% to 7,165.80 by midday, with the index also hit by a number of its constituents trading ex-dividend.

Amid continuing focus on US and China relation, US futures point to a lower open on Wall Street when trading resumes later.


Bakery chain Greggs was flat at £18.10 as it said it expects to declare a special dividend in July after reporting annual profits in line with guidance as performance improved in the second half following a weather-related lull in the first half.

Aviva slipped 3.7% to 417.2p as it reported a rise in profits led by growth in its life business, though weakness in its fund management businesses capped gains.

Admiral fell 4.3% after it said profit rose by nearly a fifth supported even as its UK motor business slowed in the second half in the face of rising claims costs.

Asset management company Schroders lost 5.3% to £26.13 as it reported a slump in 2018 pre-tax profit on Thursday amid a 6% drop in its assets under management, but said it remained confident in its future growth.

Private hospital operator NMC Health revealed higher than expected finance costs of $121.3m in the year to 31 December, prompting a miss in earnings per share forecasts. The shares slumped 8.1% to £27.58

Defence and aerospace group Cobham dropped 1.21% as it said it planned to reinstate a progressive dividend despite reporting a fall in profits owing to a strong pound and divestments.

Industrial turnaround specialist Melrose Industries climbed 3.3% as it saw its full-year adjusted pre-tax profit almost triple thanks to its acquisition of British engineering group GKN last year.

North Sea producer Premier Oil jumped 5.8% to 78.2p as it returned to profit in 2018, with a net profit of $133.4m compared to a net loss of $235.8m a year earlier as it achieved higher production and prices for its oil.

Informa added 3.3% to 735.4p after it reported annual profits grew helped by an increase in revenues amid a boost from acquisitions.

Inmarsat rose 4% despite reporting annual profits down by more than a fifth as a rise in satellite revenues was offset by a jump in costs.


Asset management software firm Alfa Financial gained 20.6% to 148.6p as it showed signs of recovery in the second half of 2018, with revenue increasing by 16% on the first half.

Estate agent Countrywide slumped 9.5% to 9.5p as it warned on 2019 performance in a tough property market.

Shares in fast fashion womenswear outfit Quiz collapsed by 52.5% to 15.25p as it issued yet another profit warning and said it was undertaking a review of the business.

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