StockMarketWire.com - The FTSE dropped 1% to 7,105 around midday as miners were impacted by US President Donald Trump's decision to impose a 10% tariff on aluminum.

Miner Rio Tinto (RIO) was one of the hardest hit, down 2.3% at £36.94. Analysts voiced concerns the tariffs could prompt a trade war which could constrain global trade.

Miners continued to underperform this week, with Anglo American (AAL) dropping 2.1% to £17.04 and Glencore (GLEN) declining 2.1% to 367.9p.

High street banks Barclays (BARC) and Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) were also among the biggest fallers, down by up to 2% each.

Brent crude oil slipped 0.3% to $63.60 per barrel. Gold gained 1.5% to $1,322 per ounce and copper declined 0.2% to $3.09 per pound.

MID AND LARGE CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Engineer IMI (IMI) fell 8.4% to £11.26 on flat underlying sales once currency movements and unit business disposals were excluded.

In the same sector, GKN (GKN) announced exploratory talks with US-based Dana that could lead to a merger of its Driveline auto arm with Dana's. GKN is fighting a hostile takeover from turnaround specialist Melrose (MRO).

Packaging firm Mondi (MNDI) rewarded investors with a €1 per share special dividend after pre-tax profits rose 5% to €887m in 2017. The stock advanced 2% to £18.76.

Elsewhere in the same sector, Essentra (ESNT) cut its reported pre-tax loss by over 90% to approximately £5m. Shares in Essentra enjoyed a relief rally of 6.1% to 469.2p.

Spire Healthcare (SPI) reported a 68.7% fall in pre-tax profits to £16.8m last year, but this failed to move the stock at 223.6p.

Shares in London Stock Exchange (LSE) retreated 1.2% to £38.96 despite delivering decent sales and pre-tax profit growth.

SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Embattled children's goods retailer Mothercare (MTC) dropped 6.6% to 23.2p after Legal & General (LGEN) cut its stake below 3%.

Exceptional costs of £9.6m dragged premium bar operator Revolution Bars (RBG) into a £3.7m operating loss in the 26 weeks to 30 December 2017. Shares in the company reversed 5.9% to 160p.

Recruiter Harvey Nash (HVN) revealed a 6% rise in profit in the UK and Ireland despite volatility resulting from the Brexit vote. Shares in the company advanced 0.8% to 87.5p.


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