UK shares were battered on Thursday as a political standoff between the United States and China cast severe doubt over prospects of a trade deal, while mid-cap Royal Mail slumped after its turnaround plan fell behind schedule.
(This Nov. 20 story refiles to remove extraneous words in 11th paragraph)
London's FTSE 100 shed most of its earlier gains but still managed to close higher on Tuesday, as sentiment was supported by a surge in safety equipment maker Halma and hopes of more stimulus from economic powerhouse China.
UK mid-caps closed at their highest level in nearly 14 months on Monday, boosted by polls pointing to victory by the ruling Conservatives in upcoming elections, while a near 5% drop in insurer Aviva weighed on the main board.
LONDON British life and general insurer Aviva Plc will keep its operations in Singapore and China, it said on Monday, two days ahead of an expected strategy update and following speculation of a sale of the Singapore business.
Non-Standard Finance on Friday warned that annual profit would miss market expectations and downgraded its loan book growth targets, highlighting the lender's struggles in going solo after its failed bid for Provident Financial.
London's FTSE 100 underperformed its major global peers on Thursday, suffering its steepest intra-day drop so far this month as falls in private equity company 3i, stocks trading ex-dividend and a stronger pound hammered the exporter-heavy index.
* CEO does not expect a fine for Aug. 9 blackouts
(Adds CEO comments from call)
London's main bourse retreated on Wednesday as traders grew weary of mixed trade signals from U.S. President Donald Trump, while mid-caps slid on the back of weak economic data and a plunge in Tullow Oil.
Renewed hopes of a U.S.-China trade resolution and a more than 3% rise in shares of telecom giant Vodafone helped London stocks bounce back on Tuesday after falls that tracked a downbeat global mood a day earlier.