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FTSE enjoys modest gains despite potential trade talks

Investors seemed cautious over potential new trade talks between the US and China as the FTSE 100 gained only 0.2% to 7,297 around midday.

Among the notable risers were consumer goods colossus Reckitt Benckiser and miner Rio Tinto.

Brent crude oil was stable at $78.37 per barrel and copper declined 0.5% to $2.65 per pound.


At budget-friendly pub chain JD Wetherspoon, annual sales and operating profit hit the lower end of analysts' forecasts after being impacted by the prolonged summer heatwave and World Cup - factors which are less favourable for the company than its rivals. The stock dipped 1% to £12.67.

Fund manager Investec announced plans to hive off and separately lists its asset management unit IAM, helping the shares rally 7% to 518.4p. The company also reported operating profit in the six months to September will be ahead of the prior year.

Potash miner Sirius Minerals amended its royalty deal with Hancock Prospecting, pushing the shares 1.8% higher to 27.5p.


Toys distributor Character, up 6.4% at 532p, enjoyed a return to a reassuring growth pattern in its second half and is confident it will reach market expectations in the year to August.

Another profit warning at logistics firm Connect dragged the stock 9.4% lower to 33.5p as trading in the parcel freight market remained difficult.

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