StockMarketWire.com - The FTSE 100 was down 0.3% to 7,214.80 by midday, extending its earlier losses, as investors reacted to weak Chinese growth announced overnight.

China's gross domestic product grew at a relatively measly 4.9% in the September quarter amid supply bottlenecks and property developer Evergrande's woes.

Domestically, bus and train group Stagecoach reversed 1.2% to 81.24p after it gave rival National Express more time to make a formal takeover bid following last month's £445 million approach.

National Express was initially supposed to either make a firm offer or walk away by 19 October, in accordance with UK takeover rules. It now had until 5pm on 16 November.

Power utility National Grid rose 0.1% to 898.2p as it reaffirmed half-expectations, though with earnings showing a 'marginally greater' half-on-half weighting compared to previous years.

Investment manager Schroders shed 0.7% to £35.7548 on announcing that its assets under management had risen 2.4% in the third quarter of 2021, compared to the second.

Supermarket giant Tesco gained 0.6% to 269.55p as it commenced its planned up to £500 million share buyback, announced earlier this month.

Precious metals miner Polymetal International climbed 0.9% to £13.415 on announcing that it had produced the first concentrate from its Nezhda gold and silver mine in Russia.

Nezhda produced first gold and silver concentrate on 16 October, ahead of the previously announced target date of 1 November, the company said.

AI data analytics company Ixico firmed 4.3% to 88.09p, having guided for core earnings in 2021 to be ahead of market expectations.

The rise came even as Ixico said it expected earnings to decline in 2022 owing to a ramp-up in investment.

Internet platform company CentralNic jumped 13% to 129p as it upgraded its outlook amid ongoing momentum during the nine months through September.

CentralNic's nine-month revenue was expected to rise 66% to at least $280 million, while adjusted earnings were expected to rise 45% to at least $32 million.

Infection-prevention product group Tristel slumped 8.3% to 475p after it booked a fall in annual profit, citing the impact of the pandemic, but still upped its dividend amid a recovery in patient examinations.

Tristel hiked its full-year dividend to 6.55p per share, up 6% year-on-year.

Fast-moving consumer products group Supreme rallied 7.7% to 195p on announcing that it had achieved 'significant' growth in first-half profitability.

Aquaculture biotechnology business Benchmark jumped 11% to 63p on guiding for adjusted core earnings 'significantly ahead' of market expectations.


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