THURSDAY’S MARKET CLOSE: Caution over US agreement

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Traders remained cautious today amid concern over the lack of a long-term solution to the United States’ budget issue.

Despite the temporary agreement in Washington to prevent a catastrophic meltdown – which could have brought the global economy to its knees – the FTSE 100 index was largely flat, edging just 4.57 points higher to 6,576.16.

Soft drinks firm Britvic was one of the biggest gainers, rising by 7.5p to 607.5p, after it said market share for its Fruit Shoot brand had returned to levels seen before last year’s recall over faulty bottle caps.

Cash-and-carry group Booker, which supplies businesses including Loch Fyne Restaurants, added 0.8p to 141.9p after posting a 17 per cent rise in first-half profits as more chefs turned to it for ingredients.

Travis Perkins fell by 29p to 1,749p after warning that its DIY chain, Wickes, is continuing to face headwinds. Equipment rental firm Speedy Hire also referred to a difficult construction market in a trading update and dipped by 1.5p to 66.5p.

Hedge fund firm Man Group rallied by 3p to 85.35p after it saw a surprise inflow of new money in the third quarter.

Gambling firm Rank Group warned its first-half profit will be lower than last year, dragging down full-year expectations after revenues fell over the summer. Shares fell by 4p to 150p.

Flooring maker Low & Bonar, which operates a site in Dundee, saw its shares edge down 0.25p to 74.5p despite saying it expects full-year profits to be in line with market forecasts.

Lombard Medical Technologies, which has a factory in Ayshire, rose 3.5p to 208p after announcing a licensing agreement with American medical technology giant Medtronic, avoiding a potential patent battle.