- UK stocks were trading lower on Tuesday as local investors grappled with the potential for national elections, as Boris Johnson faces resistance to his Brexit plans in parliament. Sterling weakness, bad for UK domestic FTSE 100 stocks and the UK-focused FTSE 250, also weighed heavily on sentiment.

At 11.30, the benchmark FTSE 100 index was down 12.5 points, or 0.17%, at 7,269.4.


Plumbing and heating products group Ferguson gained 3.6% to £63.58 after it announced a plan to demerge its UK operation and the departure of chief executive John Martin.

Packaging company DS Smith fell 2% to 334.8p as it acknowledged that sales volumes were being impacted by economic uncertainty.

Wagamama and Garkfunkels owner Restaurant Group fell 12.1% to 135.6p, having swung to a first-half loss, despite improving sales, after it took a large impairment charge on the value of its assets.

Healthcare-company investor Syncona rose 2p to 231.5p on news that it had injected another £48m into retinal gene therapy group Gyroscope Therapeutic.

Convenience food manufacturer Greencore gained 2.1p to trade at 212p on the £56m acquisition of salads-to-chilled snacks maker Freshtime.


Inkjet printing technology company Xaar tumbled 27.3% to 64p on announcing that it would write down the value of its assets and delay the release of its first-half results.

Xaar also warned of a weaker-than-expected performance over the remainder of the year.

Flooring retailer Victoria advanced 4.2% to 500p as it announced that its like-for-like revenue, margins and earnings were all tracking 'well ahead' in the current financial year.

Brick and paver maker Michelmersh Brick rallied 6.3% to 92.5p, as it posted a rise in first-half profit and said it expected to exceed market expectations for the full-year.

Computer, power and communications products manufacturer Solid State gained 12.8% to 485p as it guided for profits for the full year to be 'significantly ahead' of market expectations.

Trinidad and Indonesia focused Range Resources more than tripled to 0.05p after it agreed to sell assets in Trinidad to LandOcean in exchange for offsetting all outstanding debt owed to the company plus $2.5m in cash.

Recruiter Hydrogen hopped 4p higher to 52.5p as first half results revealed continued strong earnings growth, despite Brexit-related uncertainty and more challenging market conditions in a number of Asian markets.

Scottish broadcaster STV added 4.5% to trade at 371p after it swung to a first-half profit, as improving margins buffered the company from falling revenues.

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