- UK stocks traded lower on Tuesday during a see-saw session which saw the FTSE 100 gain 40 points by mid-morning only to give up its gains as the day wore on.

By midday the index was down 20 points or 0.25% to 7,597, reflecting weakness in European markets and pre-market indications in the US. Sectors in the black were general retailers, housebuilders and mobile telecoms, while the big losers were chemicals, industrial metals, paper and technology hardware

Housebuilder Taylor Wimpey gained 2.7% to 207p as it announced that it had erected 5% more homes in 2019 and sold them at slightly higher prices, helping it to achieve annual results in line with its expectations.

Builders merchant Grafton firmed 5% to 900p after it lifted its full year operating profit outlook to £202m, roughly £10m above current market forecasts, following a better-than-expected end to the year.

Online fashion retailer Boohoo rose 5% to a new all-time high of 334p after upgrading its annual revenue guidance, following a 44% jump in sales in the last four months of 2019.

Miniature wargames retailer Games Workshop rallied 4.5% to £66.70, also a new all-time high, after it handed down a jump in first-half profit and hiked its dividend as its sales rose by nearly a fifth.

Recruitment firm Page Group gained 3.3% to 484p even as its gross profit fell 2.6% in the fourth quarter owing to weakness in Asia and the UK. For the full year, gross profits rose 5.0% thanks to strength in the US.

Further down the market junior oil producer Serica Energy rose 9.5% to 134p as it notched higher output from its interests in the Bruce, Keith, Rhum and Erskine assets in the North Sea.

In contrast Tullow Oil shed 6% to 58.7p ahead of its scheduled trading update tomorrow. The firm has been beset by production downgrades and disappointing drilling results at one of its new developments.

Chemicals company Elementis dropped 12% to 144p after it warned on profit following a 'subdued' final quarter, as its chromium and energy business segments were hurt by a challenging market backdrop.

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