- The FTSE 100 remained in positive territory after UK GDP figures hit expectations and with attention focused on the G20 summit in Japan.

By midday the index of leading shares was up 0.2% to 7,420.04.

Housebuilders Berkeley, Taylor Wimpey, Barratt Developments and Persimmon rose 2.7%, 1.8%, 1.4% and 2.1%, respectively on news Boris Johnson plans to reform stamp duty.


Shares in theme park group Merlin Entertainments soared by 14% to 450p after it received a takeover bid from a consortium including the Danish family which owns Lego.

Retirement home developer McCarthy & Stone gained 1.6% as it welcomed news that the UK government had exempted the sector from a regulatory rent cap.

Infrastructure services firm Costain fell 40% as it warned on profit thanks to contract delays.

Woodford Patient Capital Trust dipped 0.8% after the fund vowed to cut debt and said it would consider a share buyback to lift its market value.

Healthcare-focused software firm Craneware fell 32% as it warned on sales in the US.


Video game developer Codemasters firmed 1% as it confirmed the release of car racing video game F1 2019.

West African focused gold miner Avocet Mining slumped 11% after it decided to place itself into voluntary liquidation.

Advanced materials company Versarien jumped 9.5% on news that it had secured its first graphene order from a US based company operating in the oil and gas exploration sector.

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