(Sharecast News) - London stocks had pared earlier gains to trade just a touch higher by midday on Wednesday, as investors mulled the latest reading on the manufacturing sector.
The FTSE 100 was up just 0.1% at 7,275.73.
Figures released earlier by the Confederation of British Industry showed that factory orders surged in November. The CBI survey's monthly order book balance rose to 26% from 9% in October, marking the highest reading since the series began in April 1977 and coming in above expectations of 8%.
However, the survey also showed that manufacturers' price expectations rose to a 44-year high.
CBI deputy economist Anna Leach said: "It's good to see strong order books and output growth in the manufacturing sector holding up as we head into winter. Output growth has been steady for three months now and remains quicker than its long-run average.
"But intense supply side challenges continue to put pressure on firms' capacity to meet demand. Alongside record order books, stock adequacy was the weakest on record in November and manufacturers are increasingly having to pass on significant cost increases to customers.
"These pressures highlight that the Government was right to establish the supply chain taskforce to address acute challenges. But with these challenges likely to persist into the new year, business is ready to work with Government to adopt a more holistic, cross-economy approach to identifying solutions which support the entire supply chain."
Looking ahead to the rest of the session, investors will eye the release of US initial jobless claims and GDP data.
In equity markets, Intertek was the standout gainer after saying it was it was on track for solid annual growth as the product testing company reported revenue up 6.7% in the most recent four-month period.
Housebuilders also gained, with Barratt, Persimmon and Taylor Wimpey all higher.
On the downside, Entain and Flutter lost ground following a Telegraph report suggesting that gamblers could be limited to a maximum £2 bet online and £100 spending a month.
Genus tumbled as the animal genetics company said that based on current trading, especially in China, pre-tax profit for 2022 was set to be "moderately lower" than its previous expectation.
Brewin Dolphin slid even as the wealth manager reported record full-year discretionary fund inflows.
FTSE 100 (UKX) 7,275.73 0.12%
FTSE 250 (MCX) 23,126.60 -0.41%
techMARK (TASX) 4,453.56 -0.82%
FTSE 100 - Risers
Intertek Group (ITRK) 5,502.00p 6.63%
Barratt Developments (BDEV) 716.80p 2.08%
Persimmon (PSN) 2,830.00p 2.06%
Taylor Wimpey (TW.) 160.90p 1.96%
Land Securities Group (LAND) 754.80p 1.94%
SEGRO (SGRO) 1,383.00p 1.77%
CRH (CDI) (CRH) 3,840.00p 1.51%
Vodafone Group (VOD) 117.64p 1.43%
British Land Company (BLND) 531.60p 1.41%
Schroders (SDR) 3,612.00p 1.32%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Entain (ENT) 1,802.00p -4.40%
Aveva Group (AVV) 3,240.00p -3.54%
Darktrace (DARK) 483.00p -3.17%
Flutter Entertainment (CDI) (FLTR) 10,770.00p -2.45%
Rolls-Royce Holdings (RR.) 133.06p -2.06%
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 148.66p -1.85%
Sage Group (SGE) 768.80p -1.84%
Polymetal International (POLY) 1,340.50p -1.72%
JD Sports Fashion (JD.) 1,138.50p -1.64%
Melrose Industries (MRO) 159.20p -1.42%
FTSE 250 - Risers
LXI Reit (LXI) 153.20p 3.93%
Trustpilot Group (TRST) 295.40p 3.14%
CLS Holdings (CLI) 211.00p 2.93%
Shaftesbury (SHB) 654.00p 2.67%
Big Yellow Group (BYG) 1,620.00p 2.47%
Moonpig Group (MOON) 335.80p 2.25%
Marshalls (MSLH) 740.00p 2.07%
Safestore Holdings (SAFE) 1,333.00p 1.99%
Biffa (BIFF) 361.50p 1.83%
Workspace Group (WKP) 838.00p 1.76%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Genus (GNS) 4,460.00p -15.05%
Cineworld Group (CINE) 52.96p -7.48%
Brewin Dolphin Holdings (BRW) 352.50p -6.13%
Discoverie Group (DSCV) 996.00p -5.14%
TI Fluid Systems (TIFS) 229.00p -3.78%
Auction Technology Group (ATG) 1,266.00p -3.51%
Bridgepoint Group (Reg S) (BPT) 529.00p -3.47%
Convatec Group (CTEC) 203.00p -3.43%
Virgin Money UK (VMUK) 175.25p -3.36%
Telecom Plus (TEP) 1,448.00p -3.34%