FTSE 100 loses early momentum as travel stocks dip on Covid fears

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The FTSE 100 was flat at 7,271.95 by midday as some early strength in the oil sector began to ebb away and travel shares fell on the worsening Covid situation in Europe.

Quality assurance provider Intertek said revenue grew 6.7% in the July to October period, driven by a boost from acquisitions. Its shares jumped 6.5% to £54.94.

Johnson Matthey fell 2.4% to £21.30 after swinging to a first half of loss weighed down by a £314 million write down of assets in its battery materials business as the chemicals company exited the industry.

Looking ahead, the company kept its guidance unchanged and said that the share buyback of £200 million would begin in the new year.

Animal genetics company Genus warned that profit would be 'moderately lower' than expected for 2022 following a lower volumes in China. Its shares fell 13.8% to £45.28.

Luxury brand Mulberry rallied 25% to 326p after swinging to a first-half profit as revenue grew by more than third as the reopening of store in the UK and growth Asia bolstered performance.

Construction materials group Breedon rose 3% to 101.8p after upgrading its outlook on profitability after reporting that revenue was up 31% in first 10 months of the 2021 amid 'encouraging' demand levels.

Semiconductor materials supplier IQE slumped 22% to 39.2p as it warned on revenue following a softening demand in the smartphone supply chain in the final quarter of the year.

Drinks company Britvic reported a rise in annual profit as revenue was boosted by a recovery in its out-of-home business as economies reopened. It shares surrendered earlier more significant gains to trade 0.3% higher at 881p.