- UK stocks remained lower by midday on Thursday with US stocks expected to join them as global markets once again get nervous over the US-China trade war.

At 11:55, the benchmark FTSE 100 was down 0.31%, or 23.21 points, at 7,512.25.


Pubs operator Ei Group soared 38.6% to 285.2p after it agreed an all cash offer of 285p from Stonegate Pubs, a private operator of 772 pubs and bars. The acquisition values the company at £1.27bn, and including debts equates to an enterprise value of £2.97bn.

Royal Mail slipped 0.8% to 218p as it said its performance in the first quarter of the 2019-2020 financial year had been "in line with expectations" and reiterated its full-year outlook ahead of its AGM.

Budget airline easyJet added 3.3% to £10.68 after it said it expected to deliver pre-tax profit in line with market expectations following a 'robust' third quarter despite rising competition and tougher macroeconomic conditions weighing on revenues.

Online fashion retailer Asos plummeted 16.4% to £22.92 after it warned on profits as difficulties with new warehouse facilities in the US and Europe were expected to continue for the remainder of the year. shed 3.2% to 389p even as it reported a 15% increase in first-half Group revenue as its Reinvent strategy accelerated core growth and unlocked new market growth and as it said it was "confident" it would meet market expectations this year.

Anglo American edged 0.2% lower to £21.99 after it said it remained "broadly" on track to meet its full-year production target despite lowering its diamond production guidance and reporting a fall in iron ore production at its Kumba mine.

Mining company South32 slipped 1.65% to 167p even as it reported a "strong finish" to its 2019 financial year, with revenue equivalent production growing 10% in the last quarter ending in June and 3% for the year.

Brewery Young & Co added 0.8% to £16.25 after it said it had appointed Simon Dodd, a former director at Fuller's Brewery, as a director in the newly created role of Chief Operating Officer.

British investment trust Sequoia Economic Infrastructure Income Fund edged 0.4% higher to 115p after it announced it would pay an interim dividend of 1.5625p per share for the quarter ended 30 June 2019.

Gold miner Centamin added 0.87% to 116p after it maintained its annual production guidance as gold output jumped 27% in the second quarter from a year earlier.

Gambling group GVC added 0.4% to 605p after it said it had reached an agreement to sell its 50% stake in Sportium Apuestas Deportivas to joint venture partner Cirsa S.A. for €70m.

Hilton Food Group gained 0.85% to 949p after it said performance in the first half met management's expectations as the food packing company continued to grow the business through additional volumes and close cooperation with its retail partners.

Hochschild Mining added 2.56% to 208p after it said it remained on track to meet its annual production and cost targets following its second strongest half of production on record.


7digital Group leapt 41.7% to 0.26p after it announced that Chief Executive Officer John Aalbers and Chief Financial Officer Julia Hubbard had stepped down with immediate effect.

Life sciences business OptiBiotix Health lost 1.9% to 74p after it said it had signed an agreement with UK sales and marketing company BioEnergiser for the online distribution of its appetite suppressant SlimBiome Medical in the UK.

Live data company Wandisco shed 2.2% to 532p after it announced a partnership with business and technology consulting firm Neudesic to speed up the migration of customers' data and analytics workloads to the Microsoft Azure cloud platform.

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