StockMarketWire.com - UK stocks closed Monday's session modestly in positive territory after the benchmark S&P 500 index in the US hit a record high, investor optimism rising on a possible trade deal between the US and China. Keeping a lid on the UK market's gains were a disappointing update from lender HSBC as well as nervousness with Britain heading towards another general election.

At 16.35, the benchmark FTSE 100 index was up 6.81 points, or 0.09%, at 7,331.28.

LARGE AND MID CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

HSBC dropped 4% to 593.1p as it reported an 18% fall in third-quarter profit and warned it would miss its return on equity target for 2020.

Cairn Energy reversed 7.6% to 178.5p after an exploration well offshore Mexico came up dry.

Iron ore company Ferrexpo fell 3.3% to 129p on announcing that chief executive Kostyantin Zhevago would temporarily step down to focus on matters involving a former business interest in Ukraine.

Advertising group S4Capital was unchanged at 165.5p after it acquired London-based media and data science company ConversionWorks and South Korea-based data and analytics consultancy Datalicious, both for undisclosed sums.

SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Infrastructure group Costain cheapened 1.9% to 169.2p despite announcing a raft of new road-building and management contracts in the south-east and north of England employing its enhanced highways technology, designed to improve road safety and relieve congestion.

Online women's fashion retailer Sosandar rallied 25% to 20p as it forecast a 53% rise in first-half revenue, but guided for higher-than-expected marketing costs for the full year.

Gene and cell therapy group Oxford Biomedica sparked up 20p or 3.6% to 580p on news of buying by chairman Dr. Lorenzo Tallarigo.

Hostel group Safestay was unchanged at 31.8p on announcing that it had agreed to acquire Greek hostel AthenStyle for €1.5m.

Photo booth and laundry service provider Photo-Me International gave up 0.5p to trade at 88.8p as it warned of weakness at its identify unit, offset by growth at its laundry business.

Leak detection and remediation solutions provider Water Intelligence gained 6.2% to 282.5p, with its pre-tax profit results for the year to date 'comfortably' in line with expectations, while revenue was higher than expectations.


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