StockMarketWire.com - The FTSE 100 was up modestly by midday, gaining 0.1% to 7,231.69 but down on its highs for the day amid speculation about private equity interest in several UK firms following the $12 billion bid for Telecom Italia.

Mining giant BHP rose nearly 1% after it agreed to merge its oil and gas portfolio with Woodside to create a global energy company that would be listed on the ASX.

In a separate announcement, BHP said it had approved US$1.5 billion in capital expenditure for development of the Scarborough upstream project located in the North Carnarvon Basin, Western Australia.

Precious metals firm Hochschild Mining slumped 34% to 108.6p on a threat to close two of its mines in Peru.

Shares in fantasy worlds video games developer and publisher Frontier Developments (FDEV) plunged 36% to £15.86 after the company lowered its full year revenue guidance for a second time.

The latest launch of the firm's established game Jurassic World Evolution 2 on 9 November across multiple platforms received lower sales from the PC platform segment than expected.

Technical products and services business Diploma hiked its dividend after reporting a jump in annual profit, driven by a boost from acquisitions including Windy City Wire. Its shares were up 4.8% to £33.58.

Cinema group Everyman Media climbed 2% to 145 pence after upgrading its outlook on performance following better-than-expected admissions in the first half of the year.

SDCL Energy Efficiency Income Trust was flat at 116.4 pence after announced an investment of approximately $21 million in an operational portfolio of LED lighting projects in the United States, together with a 50% stake in Future Energy Solutions Lighting, the business that developed the projects.

Customer relationship management software company Cerillion rose 3.7% 897 pence after reporting annual profit that more doubled as new business wins bolstered performance.

Customer engagement software company Pelatro fell 1.8% to 37.3 pence said it had won a contract worth about $1 million from an unnamed African telco to provide its mViva campaign management solution.


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