StockMarketWire.com - UK equity markets ended the week on a sour note on Friday as fears that Donald Trump's support for laws backing Hong Kong protesters could mar progress in trade talks with China gave investors pause for thought.

Beijing's warning that it would retaliate, while lacking detail, was enough to hold equity markets back.

At the close of the Friday trading session the bench FTSE 100 index was down 59.25 points, or about 0.8%, at 7,357.18. The more domestically focused mid cap FTSE 250 saw even deeper losses, down 0.87% at 20,840.49.

JAPAN DEAL SPARKS OCADO

Online grocery technology firm Ocado was the big mover of the day, jumping more than 10% to £13.34 - topping the FTSE 100 leader board - after it signed a partnership agreement to provide its technology to Japan's biggest grocer, Aeon.

As with Ocado's other international deals, the company will supply logistics and know-how to help develop Aeon's e-commerce operations, as internet food shopping takes off in Japan, although this will carry £25m of extra costs owing to extra support spending broadly, and early implementation expenses on the Aeon agreement.

Supermarkets and banks acted as the major brakes on blue-chips, led by Tesco's near 3% decline to 230.4p. Lloyds, Sainsbury and Royal Bank of Scotland were also on the back foot, posting 2.5% declines or thereabouts.

Commercial vehicle hire company Northgate saw its early morning slide accelerate to more than 10% at the close, to 314p, after announcing that it had agreed to acquire road support services group Redde by way of a share-based transaction worth about £394m.

Redde shareholders would be entitled to receive 0.3669 new Northgate shares for each of their Redde shares, which rose 3.4% to 112p.

'Daily Mirror' and 'Daily Express' newspaper publisher Reach rallied 12% to 93.5p after it announced that while its sales were still falling, the rate of decline had slowed in the second half.

The company also said that it was no longer in active discussions about acquiring assets from JPI Media, having first announced the talks in July.

Drug development heavyweight AstraZeneca nudged 0.4% lower to £74.69 on announcing that the US Food and Drug Administration had granted it a priority review for a drug to treat small cell lung cancer.

SMALLER COMPANY WRAP

Racing car computer games maker Codemasters rallied more than 12% to 235.5p after reporting the full backing for its £20m share placing announced yesterday.

The fund raise is to acquire fellow games designer Slightly Mad Studios.

Heat and power distributor Aggregated Micro Power, trading as AMP Clean Energy, jumped 25% to 85p after it had accepted a £63.1m private equity bid.

Food ingredients business Real Good Food posted a first-half loss, as rising sales were offset by pressure on margins in its cake decorations unit. Its shares were unchanged at 6.62p.

Transport corridor analytics group Maestrano jumped 7% to 1.5p, having won a tree-monitoring contract from the Australian government to help it protect regions in the Northern Territory from the effects of uranium mining.

Business management group Watchstone ended the day back in the red as a planned asset sale was delayed until the end of December. Shares in the company fell 2.8% to 140p.

Woundcare specialist Advanced Medical Solutions shed 2.4% to 259.5p as it flagged a potential £2m hit to earnings, due to a supplier of topical adhesive products experiencing operational setbacks.


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