StockMarketWire.com - UK stocks started Tuesday in fairly subdued fashion as the rally following the Conservative victory in the general election comes to a conclusion.

With no corporate news from the UK's blue-chip index, stocks going ex-dividend were the main factors for investors on Christmas Eve.

And with the market set to close at 12.30pm, trading volumes were expected to be low throughout the morning.

At 0900, the UK's benchmark FTSE 100 index traded virtually flat, down just 0.36 points, or 0.0047%, to 7,623.23.

LARGE AND MID CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Hospital operator NMC Health gave up 7.5% to £16.46 after it chalked up a 35% gain yesterday.

The company's shares continued to see-saw as it fights off negative claims regarding its balance sheet and financing from a US short-seller.

Heat treatment and specialist thermal services provider Bodycote rose 1.5% to 962p as it agreed a $200m deal to acquire Ellison Surface Technologies.

Bodycote said the money for the acquisition will come from its existing committed credit facilities, and the deal is expected to be completed in Q1 2020, contingent on regulatory approvals.

Wholesale market intermediary TP Icap edged 0.7% higher to 415p after it said it will buy private brokerage group Louis Capital for an initial $21m.

Completion is expected to take place in Q1 2020 and is subject to regulatory approval by the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority in the US and other regulators.

Environmental investor John Laing gained 0.6% to 380p after it bought an undisclosed stake in an Australian waste-to-energy project for A$51.5m or £28m.

Gold miner Resolute Mining soared 8% to 65p after announcing it has forward sold an additional 30,000 ounces of gold at an average price of US$1,501 per ounce.

Resolute said it has extended its US dollar denominated gold hedge position to secure price certainty during 2020 for a portion of the US dollar revenues generated from its African gold mines, Syama in Mali and Mako in Senegal.

Georgian bank TBC Bank gained 0.3% to £13.24 following a loan agreement it has signed worth 90m Georgian Lari (£24.4m) with the European Investment Bank (EIB).

SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Car dealership Pendragon moved 0.43% higher to 12.71p announced the sale of its Jaguar Land Rover franchise in Newport Beach, California, for £31.1m.

Drugs developer Nuformix nudged 0.82% higher to 7.36p after it said in its half-year report that it has made significant progress, successfully completing its first clinical development study for its lead product NXP001 during the period.


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