StockMarketWire.com - UK stocks had a volatile morning on Wednesday as Brexit negotiations went down to the wire.

The pound rose and fell against the dollar as mixed messages filtered out of ongoing talks between UK and EU officials.

Despite the volatility, at 1157 the UK's benchmark FTSE 100 index traded relatively flat, down just 1.04 points, or 0.014%, to 7,210.60.

LARGE AND MID CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Mining house Rio Tinto shed 2.2% to £39.32 as it produced 6% more iron ore in the third quarter, but downgraded its annual production forecasts for bauxite and alumina.

Online fashion retailer Asos jumped 19.7% to £30.64 , even as it reported a steep fall in profit owing to operational hitches at warehouses in the US and Germany.

The company, which had already foreshadowed the fall in a previous profit warning, also said it had made a strong finish to the year and a 'solid' start to the new financial year.

Travel company National Express edged 0.3% higher to 450p, after its Spanish and Moroccan division ALSA won a bus contract in Casablanca, expected to secure more than €1bn in revenue over a 15-year term.

Residential property developer Barratt Developments fell 1.9% to 670p on a warning that it continued to expect to grow homebuilding volumes toward the lower end of its medium-term target range this year.

Private health care services group Mediclinic International firmed 3.8% to 372p as its first-half revenue rose by about 9.0% in the first half, helping to boost earnings.

Property investor and developer Segro fell 0.9% to 815p after it signed new headline rent contracts worth £15.3m in the third quarter, up from £12.6m on-year. Rent roll growth from existing space, however, fell.

SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Woodford Patient Capital dropped 4.7% to 32.8p, a roughly 50% discount to its net asset value, after manager Woodford Investment Management handed in its notice and announced it would close down.

Payments firm Boku improved 2.5% to 102p after it inked a partnership with GoPay to extend mobile payments across populous Indonesia.

Infection prevention product manufacturer Tristel gained 1.5% to 298p as it booked an 18% rise in annual profit driven by sales growth both at home and abroad.

Manufacturing group PipeHawk firmed 5.9% to 4.34p on announcing that it had acquired loss-making company Wessex Precision Instruments for a nominal sum of £1.

Advanced materials group Applied Graphene Materials dipped 0.3% to 18p as its annual losses widened amid slower-than-expected revenue growth.

Nanomaterial manufacturer Nanoco moved 5.3% higher to 10.74p as it narrowed its annual losses after its revenue more than doubled, though it warned of tougher trading ahead due to the loss of a key US customer.

Entertainment AI shot up 12.2% to 46p as the technology and media platform company hailed strong third quarter audience and ad revenue growth.


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