StockMarketWire.com - The FTSE 100 bounced off five-month lows to trade broadly flat at 5,773.80 helped by a step back for sterling as markets waited for yesterday's news of a resumption in Brexit talks to yield anything more concrete.

In the short term the FTSE will often have an inverse correlation to the pound given the dominance of overseas earnings and the impact weakness in the currency has on these earnings.

US futures markets were hit by news of a lack of progress on stimulus talks and reported interference in the looming presidential election.

In corporate news British Airways owner International Airlines Group swung to a substantial third-quarter loss and warned it no longer expected to breakeven on cash flows in the fourth quarter after slashing its capacity amid a surge in Covid-19 cases.

It planned for capacity in the fourth quarter of 2020 to be no more than 30% compared to 2019, citing the high uncertainty of the current environment.

Shares recovered earlier losses to trade 3.3% higher at 103.8p.

Consumer goods giant Unilever reported underlying sales growth of 4.4% for the third quarter of 2020. It ticked up 0.4% to £47.22.

Estate agent Countrywide's shares slumped 12.2% to 162p as it urged shareholders to back a recapitalisation plan. The plan would see Alchemy take a majority stake in the company with a £90 million investment and shake up the board with a new leadership team.

Renishaw's stock was up 1% to £57.68 as it reported that its adjusted profit before tax jumped by more than 300% in the three months to the end of September when compared to the same period last year.

Total revenue for the quarter declined to £116.9 million, down by 6%, but profit before tax reached £18.3 million compared to £4.3 million a year earlier.

Builders merchant Travis Perkins recorded like-for-like revenue growth of 3.9% in the third quarter of 2020, it announced this morning.

It cited strong performance from its Wickes and Toolstation brands, with the latter recording like-for-like sales growth of 25.5%.

Travis Perkins shares were up 2.9% to £12.55.

Mining company Anglo American reported a 24% rise in quarterly production in the third quarter compared to the second.

Its share price was up 0.7% at £19.64.

Rentokil Initial reported ongoing revenue growth of 9.8% in the third quarter of 2020 as it returned to a programme of acquisitions.

The company's shares were up 3.6% on the news to 535.4p.

FTSE 250-listed Spectris reported a like-for-like sales decline of 9% in the third quarter of 2020, up from -18% in Q2.

Its shares fell 2.9% to £25.89

Publishing and events company RELX's shares dropped 0.2% to £16.50 after it reported a 70% decline in revenue for its exhibitions and events business over the course of 2020 to the end of September.

Mining company Polymetal International reported a 35% jump in third-quarter revenue as gold and silver prices rose. Revenue for the period reached $884 million.

Its shares were up 1.7% to £17.96.

Property investment company Capital & Counties said it had invested another £65 million in West End property investor Shaftesbury, increasing its stake to over 25%.

Its share price dropped by 9.7% to 102.9p on the news. Shaftesbury itself fell 13.4% to 431.4p on news of a discounted cash call.

Online comparison site Moneysupermarket.com reported a 16% fall in revenue in the third quarter of 2020 amid tighter bank lending conditions.

Its stock fell by 5.2% in early trading to 253.1p

Online music and equipment retailer Gear4music upgraded its outlook after reporting a jump in sales in the first of the year as strong demand continued. It rose 2.7% to 708.5p.

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