The FTSE 100 struggled for direction as rising miners and oil majors failed to offset declines among cigarette giants on concerns over regulation, disruption and competition.

Morgan Stanley raised the concerns, leading to a 1.8% fall in British American Tobacco to £36.01 and a 1.8% decline in Imperial Brands to £25.79.

The FTSE 100 dipped 1.8 points to 7,300.

In Europe and the US, investor sentiment was strong as the new tariffs on Chinese goods were not as severe as expected.

On Wall Street, the Nasdaq was the biggest riser, up 1.1% at 7,981 around 4:45pm UK time.

Brent crude oil increased 1% to $78.85 per barrel and copper climbed 2.6% to $2.70 per pound.


Online supermarket Ocado enjoyed 11.5% sales growth in the 13 weeks to 2 September. Despite a slowdown in growth, shares in Ocado advanced 0.8% to 919.8p.

Shares in hospital group Spire Healthcare hit nearly an all-time low at 163.5p on a significant decline in NHS admissions, lower than expected growth in private admissions and investment in the business.

A positive trading update from Paragon Banking prompted investors to mark the shares 4.7% higher to 475.6p.

US financial services specialist March & McLennan agreed to buy insurer Jardine Lloyd Thompson in a deal that values the latter at approximately £4.3bn. Shares in Jardine Lloyd Thompson surged 30.7% to £18.72.


Radio frequency mesh networks provider CyanConnode sparked 41.8% to 9.5p on a $11.6m purchase order relating to a smart metering deployment by an Indian state-owned utility.

There was also good news from smart pallet innovator RM2 International after winning a contract worth $1.5m on an annual basis, triggering a 45.4% rally in the previously bombed out stock to 0.8p.

Recruitment business Kellan lost nearly half of its market value after announcing it is considering delisting from AIM.