StockMarketWire.com - Emmanuel Macron became the new President-elect in France, but this failed to excite UK investors as the FTSE 100 was relatively flat at 7,304.

Utility companies SSE (SSE) and United Utilities (UU.) were among the top performers as British Gas owner Centrica (CNA) lost customers amid strong competition.

In the doghouse were miners, including Antofagasta (ANTO) and Rio Tinto (RIO) that cheapened over 1.8% thanks to underwhelming data from China.

Annual house price growth was unchanged at 3.8% as deterioration in housing affordability curbed interest according to high street bank Halifax's latest data.

Brent crude oil was flat at $49 per barrel, while gold glittered at $1,234 per ounce.

Copper retreated 1.7% to $5,467 per tonne.

OVERSEAS MARKETS

In the US, strong jobs data boosted the S&P 500 by 0.4% on Friday as investors felt confident about the strength of the economy.

China's trade surplus widened in April to approximately $38bn from $29.93bn, amid concerns global trade momentum might be easing.

The country's imports and exports were below forecasts, causing the SSE Composite to slump 0.8% on Monday.

Other markets in Asia closed higher as investors were relieved that Macron won the French election over the weekend and beat far-right candidate Marine Le Pen.

FTSE 100 RISERS AND FALLERS

Centrica admitted it lost 261,000 domestic customers so far in 2017 as it faced competition from independent, challenger brands. The first quarter update came ahead of an annual general meeting where chief executive Iain Conn's level of compensation might be in focus.

SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Cadbury chocolate manufacturer Premier Foods (PFD) sweetened 0.7% to 43.3p on a heads of terms agreement for a strategic global partnership with Toblerone maker Mondelez. It would renew its long-standing licence to produce and market Cadbury branded cake and ambient dessert products.

There was a raft of news in the small cap mining and oil sectors. Intelligent Energy (IEH) rallied 20.5% to 6.4p after it became the technical lead in a programme to further develop a fuel cell stack for future mass manufacture.

Both Canadian Overseas Petroleum (COPL) and the market were disappointed with the initial results from the Mesurado-1 well as the shares fell 14.3% to 0.7p.

Europa Oil & Gas (EOG) sparked 11.8% to 7.8p as an independent report by ERC Equipoise confirmed two new pre-rift prospects, Ervine and Edgeworth, in its licensing option offshore Atlantic Ireland.

Investors took some profit at oil explorer Hurricane Energy (HUR) as an independent audit suggested recoverable volumes from its Lancaster field were more than twice as large as previously estimated. The shares were down 2.2% to 62.6p.

The competent person's report put them at 523 million barrels of oil, up 162%. The survey covered the Lancaster find and did not include other discoveries in what Hurricane called the 'Greater Lancaster Area'.

Kazakh oil producer Caspian Sunrise (CASP) plummeted 12% to 9.3p on mixed drilling news. Its key transaction with private firm Baverstock to boost its interest in the BNG licence was also yet to be signed off by the authorities in Kazakhstan.


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