StockMarketWire.com - UK stocks traded higher 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 11.42, the benchmark FTSE 100 index was up 13.5 points, or 0.18%, at 7,316.

LARGE AND MID CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Insurance group Aviva fell 4.4% to 415.1p 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 3.6% to £17.62 on reporting a rise in annual profit, underpinned by acquisitions and cost cutting.

Automotive fluid systems manufacturer TI Fluid Systems reversed 0.9% to 216p 2p 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 20.1% to 52.6p as it warned on profits.

SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Healthcare company Consort Medical jumped 43.25% to £10.40 after it agreed to be taken over by Sweden's Recipharm for £10.10 per share, or about £505m.

Security services group Westminster rallied 17.1% to 12.65p 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.

Pawnbroker H&T slumped 19.4% to 300p on news it is working closely with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) following a review of its high-cost short-term credit business. This is in light of the changes to the consumer credit rules regarding affordability. H&T has ceased providing such credit whilst the FCA case continues and stresses that the business represents less than 4% of revenues.

Touchstone Exploration jumped 12% to 12.88p after it recorded positive flow test results from a recent well drilled in Trinidad and Tobago.

Shanta Gold cheapened 0.6% to 8.35p despite increasing the estimated mineral resource at its New Luika gold mine in Tanzania following completion of a drilling campaign.

Savannah Resources added 3.4% to trade at 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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