- As Royal Dutch Shell (RDSB) traded ex-dividend and oil prices came under pressure, shares in the oil giant dropped sharply to 3.3% and acted as a headwind on the FTSE 100.

Miners were also among the top fallers as commodity prices toppled, while the stronger pound continued to pile pressure on the value of overseas earnings.

The FTSE closed 0.9% lower at 7,436.

In April, good weather helped to increase UK retail sales, which were up 2.3% compared with March.

Copper and gold were 0.4% lower at $5,577 per tonne and $1,252 per ounce.


On Thursday, Japan's Nikkei 225 closed 1.3% lower despite data revealing that the country's economy grew by 2.2% in the first quarter of 2017.

Concerns over a potential impeachment of US President Donald Trump caused a panic in Asian markets, with Japan taking the biggest hit.

In the US, the markets stabilised after suffering a severe drop on Wednesday following the call to impeach Trump from Democratic congressman Al Green.


Rare diseases specialist Shire (SHP) was a late riser as its shares jumped 3.2% to £48.81 as its latest trial on the rare genetic disease hereditary angioedema (HAE) was positive. It revealed an 87% reduction in mean HAE attack rate if a dose of 300mg was taken every two weeks.

Equipment rental group Ashtead (AHT) dropped by 3.6% to £15.03 thanks to concerns over whether an infrastructure boost would actually materialise in the US.

Shares in international investor 3i Group (III) were broadly unmoved at 834.7p despite its total return increasing 93% to £1.59bn in the year to the end of March.

Chairman of Hargreaves Lansdown (HL.) Mike Evans announced he would stand down after a successor was found. His departure overshadowed a 10% rise in assets under administration to £77bn and the stock was static at £13.54.

Commercial property business Land Securities (LAND) revealed underwhelming annual results as its full year pre-tax profit fell from £1.34bn a year ago to £112m. Investors marked the shares 2.2% down to £10.91.

Royal Mail (RMG) was one of the few blue-chips to rise after it boosted its full year pre-tax profit and dividend, prompting the stock to nudge higher to 433.6p.

Luxury trench coat seller Burberry (BRBY) sparked 1.8% higher despite a decline in its full year sales and pre-tax profits.

Investors overlooked lower profit at National Grid (NG.) as it relatively unmoved at £10.52. The utility giant announced its pre-tax profit fell from £3bn to £2.9bn.


Cinema operator Cineworld (CINE) reported sales growth of 21.3% in the first five months of 2017.

Travel agent Thomas Cook (TCG) narrowed its losses in the first half of its financial year. It also boosted sales and expected full year earnings to meet expectations.

Berendsen (BRSN) claimed a takeover offer from Elis 'very significantly' undervalued the company and its prospects. The textile maintenance services business said it did not see the basis for further discussions and the shares soared 21.7% to £1050.

Sausage roll seller Greggs (GRG) was flat at £10.72 as total sales for the 19 weeks to 13 May increased 7.5%.

Pub operator Marston's (MARS) posted a 3% increase in its underlying first half pre-tax profit to £36.7m and agreed to acquire the Charles Wells brewing business, as well as seven other pubs.

Balfour Beatty (BBY) traded in line with expectations and continued to make good progress on the second phase of its Build to Last transformation programme.

A negative broker note from Morgan Stanley pushed Bodycote (BOY) 4.4% lower to 753.7p.


Harry Potter books publisher Bloomsbury (BMY) highlighted that full year pre-tax profit declined from £13m to £12m, above market expectations. Shares in the publisher were up 1.3% to 178.7p.

It continued to be a difficult week for Proxama (PROX) after the CEO of the digital payments division, Mike Woods, said he would step down. This was part of the company's restructuring of the division to significantly reduce its cost base. The stock dropped a further 10.8% after a quarter of the company's value was wiped off on Wednesday following the restructuring announcement.

Video security systems designer Indigovision (IND) said in the first 19 weeks of 2017 overall sales were ahead compared to the same period last year. It expected 2017 would continue to improve as the stock gained 16% to 209.6p.

Safestyle UK (SFE) warned its first half profit would be lower than anticipated. Shares in the windows retailer were down 12% as investors were not reassured by the company's reassurance it would deliver full year results in line with expectations.

Story provided by