StockMarketWire.com - By midday on Wednesday the FTSE 100 was down 0.75% to 7,097.41 as weaker market sentiment across the board combined with strength in the pound to knock the index of course.

The relative value of its constituents' overseas earnings is hit by the stronger pound, which is at seven-month highs amid increasing hopes a no deal Brexit will be averted. US futures are pointing to a lower open ahead of a US-North Korea summit later.

LARGE AND MID CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Marks and Spencer fell 8.9% to 276.1p on announcing that it would pay online grocery retailer Ocado up to £750m to take a 50% stake in a new retailing joint venture between the two companies.

The shares were under pressure because the clothing and food retailer also said it would raise £600m from a share issue to fund the deal -- and slash its dividend.

Ocado, meanwhile, gained another 5% to £10.40 as the widely-rumoured deal was confirmed.

Television broadcaster ITV shed 4.5% to 125.4p, despite posting higher earnings, as it warned economic uncertainty would hurt advertising markets.

Fashion retailer Ted Baker slumped 12.4% on warning that its annual profit would be hit by a series of unexpected costs, including an inventory write-down.

Rio Tinto ticked up 0.2% to £43.96 as the miner reported a 56% jump in annual profit owing to gains made on asset sales, mostly in the coal space.

House builder Taylor Wimpey gained 1.2% after pleasing investors with an 18% rise in annual profit, as it completed more properties and improved its margins.

Wealth manager St James's Place fell 3.2% to 945.8p owing an annual loss, as the value of investments sank and it collected lower performance fees.

Capital & Counties Properties fell 3.3%, blaming Brexit uncertainty for its widening losses.

Student accommodation developer Unite shed 1.7%, despite posting a 7% rise in annual profit driven by growing rental income -- though the rate of like-for-like growth had slowed on-year.

SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Events group Tarsus gained 11% to 298p as it reported like-for-like revenue growth of 9% for 2018 at constant currency.

X-ray screening systems provider Image Scan slumped 13% after it blamed contract delays for missing sales targets. Story provided by StockMarketWire.com