- Decent US retail sales figures helped lift global markets out of their torpor on Friday afternoon with the FTSE 100 recovering some ground to trade down 0.3% to 7,345.78.

By 4.30pm UK time the S&P 500 was down 0.2% to 2,886.05.

Construction firm Kier dropped 34.8% on reports it was planning to sell its housebuilding unit for a beaten down price. Elsewhere ITV fell 4.6% and Auto Trader dipped a further 3.5% after yesterday's downgrade from UBS.


Media firm Ascential fell 2.6% despite saying first half results were in line with expectations.

Guarantor loans firm Amigo's chief executive Glen Crawford stepped down due to ill health. Shares in the company fall 2.6%. Hamish Paton, the former CEO of Brighthouse, is due to take over but has not yet gained regulatory approval.


Cancer drug development firm Faron Pharmaceuticals gained 25.8% on signs it was gaining an understanding of an unexpected outcome in the Phase III trial of its lead drug Traumakine.

Recruitment firm SThree gained 3% on reporting a 9% rise in first-half net fees, as strength in its contract business more than offset weakness in permanent placements.

Frontier Smart Tech jumped 8.1% on new that it received a preliminary approach 'from a credible, industry player' potentially rivaling Science Group's bid for the digital radio company. Science Group rose 0.9%.

Clean water technology company Mycelx Technologies tumbled 46% after it downgraded its annual guidance, citing delayed project bids.

Customer relationship management software provider Cerillion rallied 9.8% as it secured a contract worth an initial £5.1m from the Danish telecom and utility SE Group.

Bioplastics and radio frequency business Biome Technologies jumped 22.9% on announcing that it expected to receive revenues 'immediately' following the commercial production of its new heat-stable material in the US.

Luxury furniture retailer Walker Greenbank gained 5.9% as it reported weaker sales in the US and continued challenging conditions in the UK.

Advertising technology company Taptica International gained 14.2% as it approved a further share buyback programme worth up to $10m.

Investment company St Peter Port Capital dropped 21% after its annual net asset value slumped 17% owing to asset writedowns.

Logistics group Wincanton said it had secured a contract from supermarket chain Morrisons to provide transportation services from three distribution centres to its stores. Its shares advanced 0.5%.

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