FTSE at standstill after US tech sell-off

The FTSE 100 was little changed in early trading, losing a point to 7,481. The lacklustre start reflected late falls in the US overnight after a profits warning from US chipmaker Nvidia and mixed performances in Asia.

Holiday Inn owner InterContinental Hotels Group announced a £414mln buyback and resumed its dividend after reporting healthy profits as second quarter revenue per room in America exceeded pre-pandemic levels.

UK retail sales were higher in July compared with last year following three consecutive months of falls. Spending on summer clothes, picnic food and air conditioning fuelled the rise.

John Lewis has claimed over 50s leaving their jobs during the pandemic helped fuel wage inflation. The government must think “really hard” about how to get older people back into work said the department store owner.

Among the small caps, Arecor Therapeutics won patent protection for a high-concentration version of the world’s top-selling drug. Sold by AbbVie, the monoclonal antibody product is used to treat arthritis and Crohn’s disease.

Bezant Resources PLC said it submitted a mining licence application and an exploration licence renewal application for its Hope and Gorob copper-gold project in Namibia – lifting its shares as much as 11%. The group also reported better-than-expected results from further drilling on the Hope and Vendome prospects.

Technology Minerals said the St Patrick licence, which hosts the Aramo Copper-Cobalt-Nickel Project in northwest Spain, has been extended for three years. Investors were told that 104 rock and 43 soil samples had been collected during the most recent field campaign.

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