StockMarketWire.com - The FTSE 100 had a bad start to the week, down 1.3% at 7,073 around midday, ahead of US Federal Reserve head Jerome Powell's expected interest rate rise later this week.

Among the biggest fallers were miners and utility companies.

Anglo American (AAL) retreated 3.1% to £17.15 and BHP Billiton (BLT) fell 2.7% to £14.03. The miners were followed lower by Antofagasta (ANTO), Rio Tinto (RIO) and Glencore (GLEN).

Utility form Severn Trent (SVT) declined 2% to £11.39 and British Gas owner Centrica (CNA) dimmed 2.1% to 135.4p.

Oil giants BP (BP.) slipped 2% to 464.1p and Royal Dutch Shell (RDSB) retreated 1.4% to £22.17.

Brent crude oil was down 0.3% at $66 per barrel. Copper cheapened 1.2% to $3.06 per pound and gold nudged 0.2% lower to $1,308 per ounce

MID AND LARGE CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Software specialist Micro Focus (MCRO) warned sales will fall between 6% and 9% in 2018, marking higher guidance than a previously anticipated 2% to 3% drop due to issues with its purchase of HPE Software. The bad news and departure of chief executive Chris Hsu alarmed investors as the shares toppled 55.5% to 837.9p.

William Hill (WMH) and Ladbrokes Coral (LCL) rose over 2% each after the outcome from the Gambling Commission's review into fixed-odd betting terminals was not as bad as expected.

Real estate investment firm Hammerson (HMSO) rallied 23.3% to 538.8p on news it rejected a 615p per share takeover bid from French real estate investor Klepierre.

Activist invest Sherborne took a 5.16% stake in high street bank Barclays (BARC), pushing the shares 3.8% higher to 217.5p.

Turnaround specialist Melrose (MRO) continued trying to woo engineer GKN (GKN) by pledging to put £1bn into its pension scheme.

SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

On AIM, brickmaker Michelmersh Brick Holdings (MBH) delivered an upbeat outlook, helping investors to overlook lower annual profit in 2017. The stock strengthened 8.3% to 84.5p.

Toilet roll manufacturer Accrol (ACRL) sunk 57.2% to 11.9p after announcing it expects to post a £13m pre-tax loss in the year to 30 April 2018.


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