- UK stocks inched higher in early trading on Monday as investors awaited more direction on US-China trade talks and opinion polls pointing to a Conservative victory in national elections supported the pound.

At 0838, the benchmark FTSE 100 index was up 3.73 points at 7.306.67.

Healthcare company Consort Medical jumped 42% to £10.30 after it agreed to be taken over by Sweden’s Recipharm for £10.10 per share, or about £505m.

Insurance group Aviva fell 3.3% to 419.9p on announcing that it had decided not to sell assets in Singapore and China, countering media speculation that such sales may be imminent.

Business software company Sage rose 0.2% to 739.2p as it agreed to sell its payments business to Elavon, a subsidiary of US Bancorp, for around £232m.

Technical products and services supplier Diploma advanced 2.3% to £17.40 on reporting a rise in annual profit, underpinned by acquisitions and cost cutting.

Automotive fluid systems manufacturer TI Fluid Systems reversed 1.1% to 215.6p after it appointed Ronald Hundzinski as its new chief financial officer.

Hundzinski would be joining from Tenneco, where he was executive vice president - finance.

Wafer product supplier to the semiconductor sector IQE sank 25% to 49.5p as it warned on profits.

Security services group Westminster rallied 20% to 13p after it confirmed media reports that talks between Meridian Port Services and the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority were close to being finalised, potentially advancing a contract for the company.

London and South East England focused property investor McKay Securities shed 0.9% to 240.8p as it posted a 2.1% fall in first-half profit, owing a smaller gains on the revaluation of investment properties and higher finance costs.

Touchstone Exploration jumped 14% to 13.15p after it recorded positive flow test results from a recent well drilled in Trinidad and Tobago.

Shanta Gold firmed 2.4% to 8.6p as it increased the estimated mineral resource at its New Luika gold mine in Tanzania following completion of a drilling campaign.

Savannah Resources added 3.4% to 2.3p after its Mutamba mineral sands joint venture in Mozambique with Rio Tinto was awarded a third mining concession from local authorities.

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