FTSE 100

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As of 18:25 20 Jan 2019

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London ends on a high

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London shares have ended higher, as the FTSE jumped on hopes that the US-China trade war could soon be resolved, thanks to China's trade offer to the US.

The FTSE 100 closed 133.4 points or 2% up to 6,968.33. Top of the winners was Ashtead Group, rising 4.5% to £19.53 after RBC Capital Markets reaffirmed its "outperform" rating on the stock.

The FTSE 250 ended 227.2 points or 1.2% ahead to 18,764.47. Metro Bank led the winners, jumping 5.9% to £21.96.

FTSE 100 starts higher

The FTSE 100 has made decent gains in early trading. It's up 0.7% at 6,883.

Shares in banks are doing well. Lloyds is up almost 1% and RBS is 1.2% higher.

There is talk that RBS is considering buying shares owned by the government.

London ends flat

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London shares have ended flat, as US-China trade war fears weighed down the markets, and entertainment and airline stocks saw losses.

The FTSE 100 closed 27.8 points or 0.4% down to 6,834.92. Top of the losers was ITV, which fell 6% to 129.1p after Merrill Lynch cut its stock rating from "buy" to "underperform".

The FTSE 250 ended 50.6 points or 0.3% ahead to 18,537.32. Retirement financial provider Just Group led the winners, jumping 5% to 96.4p.

FTSE 100 heads lower

FTSE 100

The FTSE 100 has been a downward trend this morning.

The index is 0.5% lower at 6,825.

The heavyweight sectors, banking, mining and oil are all lower.

Banks were not helped by weak results from Societe Generale, which put a shadow over the sector.

ITV shares lead the FTSE 100 lower

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With a 6% fall, shares in ITV are the biggest losers on the FTSE 100.

It follows negative comments from analysts at Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAML).

They say TV viewing habits are changing more quickly than originally thought - with more people are moving away from the TV schedule to viewing on demand.

That is bad for traditional broadcasters like ITV, which generate much of their income from advertising.

Meanwhile, the analysts point out, ITV is having to invest more in its online operations.

BAML has changed its view on ITV shares to "underperform".

Sage Group leads FTSE risers

Shares in Sage Group, the UK software firm, leapt to the top of the FTSE 100 risers after it said its organic service revenue grew by 7.6% in the first quarter to £465m.

Sage's share price rose 7.3% to 638.7p, closely followed by Primark-owner Associated British Foods whose stock added 5.7% to £23.00 after reporting its results.

Whitbread is one of the morning's biggest fallers, down 4.4% to £45.64, after the pubs and hotel operator gave a cautious outlook for its financial year.

The FTSE 100 is now down 0.47% at 6,830.56.

FTSE opens down, pound lower

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The FTSE 100 has opened 0.36% lower at 6,838.25.

The FTSE 250 is 0.34% lower at 18,424.09.

Meanwhile, the pound is down against the dollar so for this morning - off 0.18% at $1.2858.

It is marginally off against the euro at €1.1295.

London shares mixed on close

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London shares have ended mixed, as investors looked ahead to a no-confidence vote in UK Prime Minister Theresa May.

The FTSE 100 closed 32.3 points or 0.5% lower to 6,862.68. Top of the losers was educational publisher Pearson, which fell 6% to 918.2p after admitting it had to cut costs in order to keep it on track to meet its full-year profit guidance.

The FTSE 250 ended 57 points or 0.3% ahead to 18,486.73. Metro Bank led the winners, jumping 10% to £20.56.

BreakingUK shares: Mixed fortunes

There's a split opinion on the UK stock market this morning.

The FTSE 100, which is packed with international companies, is a 0.2% lower at 6,889.

The FTSE 250, which is seen as more representative of the UK economy, is 0.3% higher at 18,488.

But it is still very early in the trading day.

Neil Wilson, strategist at market.com said: "There is a looming risk that may well cap any upside potential for the FTSE. Investors should be mindful of a possible General Election and the risk of a Labour government and certain pledges to nationalize companies, raise taxes and force companies to hand over equity stakes to workers.

"If Jeremy Corbyn does force a General Election we may well see repricing of UK equities to factor in the chance of a Labour win – there is probably more downside risk therefore at present."