- The FTSE 100 recovered some ground after yesterday's heavy losses with bargain hunters emerging in the battered banking and resources sectors.

By midday the index of leading UK shares was up 0.4% to 7,216.12 with European markets also in positive territory and US futures pointing to a higher open on Wall Street later.

Luxury timepiece retailer Watches of Switzerland said it has priced shares for its first day of trading on the London Stock Exchange at 270p per share, towards the upper end of the previously announced range. The shares were up 15% early on.


De La Rue said it expected to generate lower operating profit year-on-year amid a rise in competition and the company reported a slump in pre-tax profits after a customer in Venezuela was unable to transfer funds amid US sanctions on the country. The shares dropped 30%.

FirstGroup climbed 4.8% after it said it would sell its greyhound business as part of plan to slim down its operations and focus on its first student and first transit segments, which helped the transport company slash annual losses.

British water utility Pennon Group shed 0.7% even as it reported a robust performance in its 2018/19 financial year. It said underlying earnings increases were supported by earnings growth at its Viridor business, higher revenues and earnings at its South West Water unit and £17m in group efficiencies.

Chemicals company Johnson Matthey lost 4.2% despite seeing annual profits soar, driven by 'strong' growth in its clean air division.

Daily Mail and General Trust surged 9.3% as it lifted its outlook on revenues, but kept its full-year guidance broadly unchanged amid uncertainty over advertising revenue streams after the media company saw pre-tax profits more than halve in the first half of the year.

Equiniti Group added 1% as it completed the separation of its EQ US division from Wells Fargo.

Inmarsat edged 0.07% higher after it agreed a contract with Airbus to manufacture three 'next-generation' Global Xpress network satellites, with the first scheduled to launch in the first half of 2023.

Independent cruise port operator Global Ports was flat after it said its subsidiary in Antigua struck an equity partnership agreement with Royal Caribbean Cruises.


Independent financial advisor Frenkel Topping jumped 5.2% after it said it was performing line with the management's expectations since the start of the year following a surge in new investment mandates.

Immotion Group leapt 7.8% as it said it had expanded its aquatic offering after signing a number of additional concession agreements, including its first zoo.

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