StockMarketWire.com - UK blue chips clawed back some losses on Tuesday as reports in the US suggested the US and China are close to an agreement to postpone incoming tariffs.

The benchmark FTSE 100 index closed 20.14 points, or 0.28%, lower at 7,213.76.

LARGE AND MID CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Ashtead, which rents out heavy construction and industrial equipment, dropped 6.17% to £22.20 even as it reported a 6% rise in first-half profit, driven by growth in the US and Canadian markets.

The company, however, also experienced continued weakness at its UK arm, while the rate of its overall profit and revenue growth slowed during the second quarter.

Fashion retailer Ted Baker tumbled 13.41% to 346p as it warned on profits again, suspended its dividend and said chief executive Lindsay Page and executive chairman David Bernstein had both stepped down, with immediate effect.

Computer services provider Computacenter rallied 4.7% to £16.05 on forecasting full-year revenue and profit 'well ahead' of current market expectations.

Luxury watch retailer Watches of Switzerland fell 1.23% to 320p as it swung to a first-half loss, owing to costs associated with its recent initial public offering, though its underlying profits rose on higher sales.

JustEat traded broadly flat at 781.6p after it rejected an improved takeover offer from Prosus pitched at 740p per share and continued to endorse a rival bid from Takeaway.com.

Pub chain JD Wetherspoon fell 0.5% to £15 on revealing plans to invest more than £200m on its pub estate over the next four years.

Domino's Pizza gave up 2.22% to 299.2p on the back of news that chairman Stephen Hemsley would step down at the end of the month and be replaced on an interim basis by current director Ian Bull.

Property investor Segro reversed 1.2% to 867.8p, having exchanged contracts to sell a portfolio of UK big box warehouses for £241m to a fund advised by Morgan Stanley Real Estate Investing.

SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Struggling infant goods retailer Mothercare gained 1.86% to 13.7p, despite having booked a deeper first-half loss, as sales continued to slide in a UK business recently placed into administration.

Sales also slipped at Mothercare's remaining offshore stores.

Convienience store group McColl's Retail cheapened by 4.72% to 39.4p as it forecast annual earnings slightly below expectations, due to unseasonable weather and weaker consumer confidence in the second half.

Infrastructure services provider Nexus Infrastructure shed 5.64% to 161.35p after it booked a 38% fall in full-year profit, as margins shrunk at its Tamdown housing business.


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