- US President Donald Trump's decision to impose a 10% tariff on aluminum caused a sell-off in the mining sector amid concern his move could prompt a trade war.

The FTSE dropped 1.5% to 7,069, while Wall Street suffered a smaller decline. The S&P 500 was 0.5% lower at 2,663 around 4:45pm UK time.

Also today, the pound fell as Theresa May articulated the fact the UK would lose some of its access to the single market in her widely trailed Brexit speech.

Rio Tinto (RIO) was the biggest blue-⁠⁠chip faller, down 3.7% at £36.38.

Miners continued to underperform this week, with Anglo American (AAL) dropping 3.1% to £16.87 and Glencore (GLEN) declining 3% to 364.5p. BHP Billiton (BLT) fell 3.1% to £14.12.

Banks also underperformed, led by Barclays (BARC) and the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS).

Integrafin (IHP), the holding company of investment platform Transact, floated on the stock market, triggering a rally of approximately 34% to 265p.

Brent crude oil was stable at $63.85 per barrel. Gold glittered at $1,318 per ounce and copper was unmoved at $3.10 per pound.


Engineer IMI (IMI) fell 8.5% to £11.24 on flat underlying sales once currency movements and unit business disposals were excluded.

In the same sector, GKN (GKN) announced exploratory talks with US-based Dana that could lead to a merger of its Driveline auto arm with Dana's. GKN is fighting a hostile takeover from turnaround specialist Melrose (MRO).

Packaging firm Mondi (MNDI) rewarded investors with a €1 per share special dividend after pre-tax profits rose 5% to €887m in 2017. The stock advanced 3.8% to £19.11.

Elsewhere in the same sector, Essentra (ESNT) cut its reported pre-tax loss by over 90% to approximately £5m. Shares in Essentra enjoyed a relief rally of 7.9% to 477p.

Spire Healthcare (SPI) reported a 68.7% fall in pre-tax profits to £16.8m last year, but this failed to move the stock at 223.6p.

Shares in London Stock Exchange (LSE) retreated 2.7% to £38.37 despite delivering decent sales and pre-tax profit growth.


Embattled children's goods retailer Mothercare (MTC) dropped 7.4% to 23p after Legal & General (LGEN) cut its stake below 3%.

Exceptional costs of £9.6m dragged premium bar operator Revolution Bars (RBG) into a £3.7m operating loss in the 26 weeks to 30 December 2017. Shares in the company reversed 7.6% to 157p.

Verona Pharma (VRP) reported positive top line data from its Phase II data on nebulised RPL554 for the treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The data excited investors, pushing the stock 17% higher to 145p.

Recruiter Harvey Nash (HVN) revealed a 6% rise in profit in the UK and Ireland despite volatility resulting from the Brexit vote. Shares in the company advanced 2% to 88.6p.

Story provided by