StockMarketWire.com - The FTSE 100 was flat at 7,144 as fears over a potential trade war led to subdued investor sentiment.

The resignation of President Trump's economic adviser Gary Cohn was believed to be in response to Trump's proposed aluminium and steel import tariffs.

Ahead of the news, Wall Street was stable with the S&P 500 up 0.2% to 2,728.

Brent crude oil slipped 0.7% to $65.29 per barrel. Copper cheapened 1.2% to $3.10 per pound and gold was flat at $1,332 per ounce.

MID AND LARGE CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Aerospace specialist Rolls-Royce (RR.) delivered strong results in 2017 with sales and pre-tax profits both rising, prompting a share price rally of 13.1% to 937.6p.

A change in strategy at Frankie & Benny's owner The Restaurant Group (RTN) started to pay off after its full year results were ahead of expectations. Its shares jumped 8.6% to 257.9p.

Bookie Paddy Power Betfair (PPB) announced it was hiking its marketing spend to help deal with the impact of regulatory changes in the gambling industry. Investors overlooked rising sales in 2017, marking the shares 3.3% lower to £79.50.

Legal & General (LGEN) said it would benefit from a one-off US tax benefit of £246m and revealed a 32% increase in pre-tax profits to £2.1bn. The stock was broadly unmoved at 259.8p.

Shares in construction firm Hill & Smith (HILS) advanced 7.2% to £13.24 after reporting sales hit a new high of £585.1m last year and pre-tax profits also rose.

IT services firm FDM (FDM) ticked 6.8% to 948.5p on decent full year results.

SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Waste management company Biffa (BIFF) revealed China's policy turnaround on receiving waste to recycle will hit its resource recovery and treatment division, causing the shares to slump 11.9% to 218p.

Instem (INS) soared 25.3% to 235p after announcing one of the world's largest chemical products companies adopted its software as a service delivery model to access solution via the Instem Cloud.

Nearly two fifths of waste treatment solutions provider Nature Group (NGR) was wiped off on an uncertain financial position. The company said if it failed to sell its subsidiary Nature Oil & Gas, it would face serious liquidity constraints and would need additional funding to survive.


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