- London's blue chip benchmark finished in the red on Friday despite the EU confirming it will extend the Brexit deadline, although Brussels also withheld the new deadline date. This left investors fretting over a potential trip to the UK polls, as well as the implications of weak German data and worsening US-China trade relations after US Vice President Mike Pence criticised the Chinese as an aggressive and destabilising force.

At 16.35, the FTSE 100 ended the session modestly lower, down 3.78 points at 7,324.47.


Banking group Barclays gained 3p to 169.4p as it reported a rise in third-quarter profit, despite forking out additional provisions for the mis-selling of personal protection insurance.

The lender also said that meeting its performance targets for this year and the next had become more challenging, owing to lower interest rates and macroeconomic uncertainty.

Miner and commodities trader Glencore edged 1.1p higher to 233.45p despite reporting a 4% fall in year-to-date copper production, as it shuttered a smelter in Zambia and re-optimised a mine in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Advertising company WPP rallied 5.6% to 969.4p on revealing a 5.2% rise in third-quarter revenue, buoyed by new contracts wins with Mondelez and eBay.

Pan-African fuels and lubricants distributor Vivo Energy advanced 2.4p to 122.4p after delivering another record quarter, with third quarter sales volume up 15%, as well as a confident outlook statement.

FTSE 250 newcomer Airtel Africa surged 8.75% higher to 60.9p as the Kenya-based telecoms company reported a 'strong' set of half year results.

Business-to-business media and events company Ascential cheapened 15p or 4.1% to 348.6p as it informed the market that its Money 20/20 China event will not be going ahead due to a 'short-term hiatus' of international companies entering the Chinese financial technology (fintech) market.

Chemicals company Synthomer sank 9% to 282p after it announced that it had experienced a slower overall trading environment in the third quarter, which it said was expected to continue into the fourth quarter and into 2020.

Plastic and fibre product supplier Essentra shed 6% to 398p as its like-for-like revenue declined in the third quarter of the year, owing to some short-term Brexit impacts and a tougher macroeconomic environment.


Biomarker developer Oxford BioDynamics ticked up 2p to 96.5p on news that Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma America had enrolled the first patient in a new clinical study that involved use of the company's technology.

Virtual reality technology company VR Education sparked up 25% to 7.5p on the back of news that its Engage platform had been selected by Facebook for its Oculus independent software vendors programme.

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