- Weakness in utility stocks weighed on the FTSE 100's performance, down 1.2 points at 7,366 around midday.

National Grid (NG.) dimmed 2.3% to 794.1p followed by United Utilities (UU.), down 1.6% at 705.8p.

Severn Trent (SVT) fell 1.4% to £18.55 and SSE (SSE) lost 1.3% to £13.09.

Brent crude oil was flat at $74 per barrel.


Support services specialist Capita (CPI) started to address its financial burden with a £701m fully underwritten rights issue to support its transformation plan. Although losses widened due to impairments, underlying profit advanced 43% in 2017, helping the shares rally 11.6% to 178.3p.

Shares in shipping services provider Clarkson (CKN) sank 19% to £25.12 on an unexpected profit warning. Profits for the both the first half and the full year are expected to be 'materially below' the prior year amid a 'challenging environment' in the shipping and offshore capital markets.

Engineer Rotork (ROR) took advantage of 'favourable market trends' and several order wins to drive sales higher in its first quarter. The stock advanced 10.2% to 329.3p.


Paragon Entertainment (PEL) plummeted 29.3% to 1.4p on news it will have to implement an 'immediate restructuring programme' to save £400,000 in costs. The fit-out business said trading during 2018 was slow.

Miner Petra Diamonds (PDL) reported a 44% surge in third quarter sales, boosting the stock by 6.6% to 69.1p.

Nanoco (NANO) jumped 9.6% to 40.4p on a second deal with a US partner with new terms surrounding milestone payments and funding.

Digital music business 7Digital (7DIG) struck a positive note with investors after announcing first quarter turnover was 'slightly ahead of budget.' Shares in 7Digital rose 13% to 4.5p.

Sportech (SPO) agreed terms with RBP Luxembourg regarding the proposed sale of Sportech Racing for up to €3.25m. Its shares were down 2.1% at 63.6p.

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