StockMarketWire.com - A cut in the UK's growth forecasts weighed on the FTSE 100, leaving it flat at 7,416.

Utilities were among the weakest blue-chip performers following a profit warning at British Gas owner Centrica (CNA), which tanked on the news, down 16.3% to 136.6p.

Full year adjusted earnings per share is expected to be approximately 12.5p, which was lower than market expectations. The company said it was seeing 'significant margin pressure' in North America and that an improved operational performance in the UK was not yet being felt in the bottom line.

Investors had a negative read across to utility stock SSE (SSE) and United Utilities (UU.), down 2.4% to £13.33.

Brent crude oil slipped 0.4% to $63 per barrel. Gold was flat at $1,291 per ounce and copper climbed 0.6% to $3.13 per pound.

OVERSEAS MARKETS

News that US President Donald Trump was considering rolling back net neutrality rules previously passed by the Obama administration weighed on investor sentiment.

The Dow Jones was the biggest hit, down 0.3% to 23,526 overnight while the S&P 500 was flat at 6,867.

MID AND LARGE CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Pub operator Mitchell & Butlers (MAB) reported higher costs for food, drink, property and labour hit its adjusted operating profits, pushing the shares 7% lower to 240.1p.

Engineer Rotork (ROR) accelerated 2.6% to 267.3p on an increase in third quarter orders and encouraging progress in the water, power and industrial process markets.

Paragon Banking (PAG) ticked 1.5% higher to 473.8p on strong full year results and a £50m share buyback programme.

SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Babywear retailer Mothercare (MTC) swung to a first half loss and warned of a recent softening in the UK market thanks to lower footfall and squeezed consumer spending. Shares in the firm fell 16.2% to 70p.

On AIM, investors raised a glass to wine specialist Majestic Wine (WINE) on strong half year results as sales, profit and the dividend all increased. The stock rose 7.4% to 411.5p.

Financial trading business CMC Markets (CMCX) gained 6.9% to 178.2p, driven by a 58% jump in pre-tax profit to £29.8m in the six months to 30 September.


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