- The FTSE 100 was up a handful of points to 5,953.55 by midday amid a somewhat confused situation over a planned US stimulus package.

While the Trump administration had seemingly ditched talks with the Democrats over the plans, subsequent tweets from Donald Trump hinted at some support measures for the economy.

Based on US futures it looked like Wall Street will claw back some of the losses posted yesterday when trading resumes later.

Tesco firmed 1.6% to 217.5p, having posted a 29% rise in first-half profit as households stocked up on groceries during the pandemic, offsetting losses at its banking division.

Tesco lifted its dividend 21% to 3.2p per share and also announced that it had appointed Imran Nawaz as its new chief financial officer.

Nawaz was currently CFO of food and beverage ingredient supplier Tate & Lyle, which fell 0.5% to 675.4p.

Security company G4S was flat at 202.1p as it hit back at claims by hostile takeover bidder GardaWorld Security that it was 'very badly run' and needed a new owner.

G4S said the assertions were 'misleading', while claiming that GardaWorld's focus was 'on legacy issues, which are now substantially resolved'.

Video games maker Codemasters rallied 5.3% to 378p on announcing that it expected its first-half revenue and earnings to more than double, thanks to the launch of new titles.

Auto retailer Vertu Motors advanced ticked up 0.7% to 31.7p, even as it posted a 75% slump in first-half profit after sales were crimped by the pandemic.

Vertu, however, also said its performance had bounced back strongly after lockdowns were eased, including a 20% rise in sales in September.

German business park investor Sirius Real Estate ticked up 0.9% to 79.7p after it said it had collected 97.2% of rent for the six months through September and was trading in line with market expectations for the full year.

Primary care property investor Assura shed 0.4% to 77p on announcing that its rent collections were 'in-line with normal patterns' in the first half.

Online women's fashion retailer Sosandar jumped 4.3% to 15.7p, erasing some of the larger gains it banked earlier on, as it guided for a substantial narrowing in first-half losses amid a 52% rise in sales.

Inkjet printing technology group Xaar fell 6% to 126.5p after it revealed it was the victim of a cyber attack that involved unauthorised access to its computer systems.

Xaar said it had contained the incident and not experienced any impact to business operations.

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