StockMarketWire.com - UK stocks pared back earlier gains on Monday after a slowdown in factory activity.

The Purchasing Managers' Index reading for the UK manufacturing sector came in at 48.9 for November, which was not as bad as expected but still signified contraction in the sector. A reading above 50 indicates growth.

At 1157, the benchmark FTSE 100 index was broadly flat on yesterday's close, up just 3.93 points, or 0.053%, at 7,350.46.

LARGE AND MID CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Fashion retailer Ted Baker sank 9% to 362p on revealing that it had overstated the value of its inventory, to the tune of £20m-to-£25m based on a preliminary analysis.

Online retailer Ocado dropped 7% to £12.31 as it launched a £500m convertible bond offering to fund developments in its technology business, Ocado Solutions, and for general corporate purposes.

Mining company Fresnillo reversed 2.6% to 562p as it narrowed its full-year guidance for production in 2019 to the bottom end of its previous range. It also touted improved silver but lowered gold output over the next three years.

Insurer Hiscox fell 3.3% to £13.18 despite the absence of news, after investors bet the company would lose its place in the FTSE 100 in this week's reshuffle.

The company warned it may take two or three years to return to profitability after it was hit by costs from claims related to recent wildfires in California and Hurricane Dorian.

Premier Oil rose 0.35% to 87.1p after first gas tarted flowing from its Bison, Iguana and Gajah Puteri project in the Natuna Sea offshore Indonesia.

The two-year project was delivered on schedule and significantly below budget, the company said.

Book publisher Bloomsbury Publishing gained 3% to 278p on news that it entered the domestic Chinese market by forming a joint venture with state-owned group China Youth Publishing.

Media company Future rose 0.9% to £13.34 after it completed the £23.5m acquisition of production group Barcroft Studios.

Sirius Real Estate fell 0.74% to 80.4p after announcing that it had acquired an office complex in Hallbergmoos, near Munich Airport, for €20.2m from local investment company KCM Invest.

St. Modwen Properties shed 2% to 448p as it completed the sale of its interests in a student accommodation building at Swansea University for £38m.

Hospitality real estate company PPHE Hotel fell 1.6% to £18.50, having announced the acquisition of a development site in central London for £12m, with a view to developing it into a hotel.

SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Disease and allergy test kit supplier Omega Diagnostics rose 4.3% to 10.43p, even as it swung to a first-half loss after it sold its legacy infectious disease division and closed its German and Indian manufacturing facilities.

Revenue fell 15% to £4.46m, though on a continuing operations basis, Omega's revenue rose 6%.

Telecom company software provider Pelatro gained 1.25% to 40.5p despite having warned that it expected to fall short of its revenue expectations for the full year, due to the timing of contract wins.

Fuel cell developer Proton Power Systems added 8.9% to 22.9p on winning a contract to provide its technology to shipbuilding group Fincantieri.


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