StockMarketWire.com - The FTSE 100 failed to take advantage of a weaker sterling amid a slump in mining stocks after the US and China failed to agree a deal at their latest summit.

Sterling weakened after Conservative MP George Eustice quit following UK Prime Minister Theresa May's promise to allow MPs a vote on whether to delay Brexit.

The blue-chip index closed 0.2% lower at 7,089.

Wall Street was also in the red with the Dow Jones 19.2 points lower at 25,965 at around 5pm UK time.

Brent crude oil slipped 0.6% to $66 per barrel.

LARGE AND MID CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Luxury car maker Aston Martin Lagonda slumped 16.5% as it swung to a loss as IPO costs weighed on profit, but revenue accelerated by a quarter driven by strong sales growth in China and the Americas.

Housebuilder Bovis Homes advanced 1.6% as it hiked its dividend Thursday after generating record pre-tax profits on higher margins and completions.

British American Tobacco fell 1.3% to £27.58 despite reporting Thursday that operating profits rose sharply after sales topped its expectations as total volumes increased.

Shares in Mondi fell 6.3% to £17.28 despite underlying earnings jumping 19% to €1.7bn in the year to 31 December.

Thomas Cook appointed Will Waggott as chief of tour operating. Shares in the firm fell 8% to 30.3p.

Rolls-Royce slipped 2.8% to 955p after it said it had withdrawn from the engine competition to power Boeing's new mid-size airplane because it was not confident it could commit to the timetable as it reported full-year underlying operating profit of £616m. This was up from £306m in 2017.

Estate agency group Foxtons nudged 0.8% higher to 61.7p after it abandoned its dividend after swinging to a loss as a strong lettings performance was offset by ongoing decline in house prices across in London amid Brexit uncertainty.

The company warned the challenging trading conditions were expected to continue in the current year.

Pest control company Rentokil Initial rose 6.7% to 351p as it reported 2018 pre-tax profit growth and said it was confident of its 'relatively strong' position for dealing with Brexit risks.

Adjusted pre-tax profit at actual exchange rates rose 7.4% to £308.0m (excluding one-off items), which reflected growth in all regions of operation, partially offset by the adverse impact of foreign exchange.

Theme park operator Merlin Entertainments climbed 2.5% after it reported a 6.2% increase in underlying earnings for 2018 as it said trading at this "seasonally quiet" point in the year had been in line with expectations.

Gocompare.com slid 5.7% as it reported Thursday a 10% increase in pre-tax profits, with revenue growth hampered by a decline in marketing spend, with the price comparison company saying performance for the year would be weighted toward the second half.

British Airways-owner International Consolidated Airlines was flat at 601.1p as it said Thursday it would deliver a special dividend as profits were boosted by an uptick in passenger revenue despite 'significant challenges.'

Insurer RSA lost 3% to 511p after it said its full-year 2018 operating profits fell due to adverse weather costs and problems in its commercial insurance business, as it also missed tangible equity return targets.

Howden Joinery fell 6.5% as it reported profit was pressured by a one-off pension charge and came in short of expectations. For the 12 months to 29 December, reported profit before tax rose 2.7% to £238.5m from a year earlier and revenues grew 7.7% to £1.051bn.

SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

London-focused housebuilder Telford Homes fell 20.4% to 278.5p as it warned of a significant fall in year-on-year profit for the March 2020 financial year thanks to a delay on the City North development.

Specialist software business Proactis slumped 54.9% as it issued a major profit warning.


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