- Tightened restrictions in the US amid a worsening Covid situation helped push the FTSE 100 lower, by midday the index was down 0.8% to 6,334.75 with US futures pointing to future weakness on Wall Street when trading resumes.

AstraZeneca dipped 0.1% to £81.70 as the drugmaker indicated its coronavirus vaccine being developed in partnership with the University of Oxford was safe and triggered a similar immune response among all adults.

Kingfisher fell 4.8% to 285.1p despite reporting that Q3 sales were boosted from a lockdown-fueled rise in home spending demand.

Royal Mail jumped 6.6% to 304.9p even as the company reported a 90% slump in profit in the first half of the year, but a surge in online shopping boosted parcel deliveries and bolstered its revenue.

Online brokerage CMC Markers fell 2.5% to 385p after upgrading its outlook and hiking its interim dividend after profit surged on strong client trading activity.

Geotechnical specialist contractor group Keller upgraded its outlook on full-year outlook following better than expected trading in the second half to date, specifically in North America. Its shares were up 3% to 628p

Investment management firm Investec fell 6.1% to 192p after the firm halved its interim dividend as first-half profit was hurt by lower revenue amid falling interest rates.

Wine specialist Naked Wines' first-half revenue grew by 80% as demand for home delivery spiked during the first peak of the pandemic. Its shares dipped 0.9% to 494.5p on the news.

Chemicals company Johnson Matthey fell 4.4% to £24.37 after cutting its dividend and reporting a slump in profit in the first half of the year.

Residential landlord Grainger rose 1.7% to 306.8p as it increased its dividend despite reporting a fall in annual profit as revenue declined amid the impact of the pandemic.

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