- London's FTSE 100 firmed on Tuesday, despite the UK government coming under pressure over its plans for a post-Brexit trade deal, as investor concerns over a US/Iran standoff began to ease. Prime minister Boris Johnson will begin trade talks with the EU in the coming weeks as the UK prepares to leave the bloc on 31 January.

At 11.51 a.m., the blue chip benchmark was up 7.27 points or 0.10% at 7,582.56.


Despite the uncertainty affecting customer spending, supermarket chain Morrisons saw its share price climb by 2.3% to 196.95p.

Like-for-like sales fell by 1.2% during the third quarter of its financial year amid customer uncertainty and heavy competition. Including fuel, like-for-like sales were down 2.5% in the 5 August to 3 November period.

Luxury carmaker Aston Martin's shares plummeted by 11.7% to 460p after it downgraded its outlook for the full year as challenging trading conditions highlighted in November had continued through the peak delivery period of December.

For 2019, the company said it now expected adjusted earnings (EBITDA) to be in a range of £130m to £140m with an associated margin of 12.5% to 13.5%.

Online gambling company 888's shares fell by the best part of 2% to 158.6p after it said it remained 'confident' that adjusted earnings with meet its expectations amid continued progress in the second half of the year.

Performance had been underpinned by the 'continued success of the group's Orbit casino platform across a number of regulated markets as well as further good revenue growth in sport,' the company said.

Poker had remained a challenging market, but the gambling company said it was 'pleased by progress made in the first-phase roll out of its new poker platform, Poker 8, which took place during the second half of the year.'

Storage company Safestore's stock also fell slightly, by 0.25% to 797p, despite reporting a 5.5% increase in revenue for its financial year ended 31 October 2019, bringing in £151.8m.

Earnings per share grew 6.3% year-on-year to 28.5p, while free cash flow hit £61.2m - a 10.5% increase on the 2018 financial year. However, profit before tax declined by 20.5% to £147.3m.

Shares in Premier Oil jumped by 18.1% to 119.8p after it announced the proposed acquisitions of two oilfields in the North Sea from BP for a combined $625m.

In addition, the company has also proposed to buy an additional 25% of a third oilfield it already operates from Dana for $191m plus contingent payments of $55m.


Pharmaceuticals group Silence Therapeutics sparked up 11.7% to 362p as it announced a technology evaluation agreement with Japanese medical giant Takeda to explore the use of Silence's proprietary platform.

Silence also plans to open a US subsidiary in 2020 to increase its exposure to the North American healthcare market.

Agriculture-to-engineering conglomerate Carr's cheapened 5.2% to 147p after cautioning that full year performance in its core agriculture division is expected to be 'moderately behind' previous expectations.

Story provided by