StockMarketWire.com - Sterling continued to dominate the dollar and placed pressure on the FTSE 100, which remained in the red.

A rising pound is bad news for most companies in the FTSE 100, with approximately 70% of the earnings from constituents of the index generated overseas.

Noticeable fallers included cigarette seller British American Tobacco (BATS) and Barclays (BARC) with declines of over 2.1% each.

The FTSE 100 closed 0.3% lower at 7,038.

OVERSEAS MARKETS

Wall Street was rising ahead of an expected interest rate hike by the US Federal Reserve.

The S&P 500 was up 0.4% at 2,728 around 4:45pm UK time.

MID AND LARGE CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

IT infrastructure products specialist Softcat's (SCT) cautious outlook concerned the market, which overlooked decent half year results, causing the shares to fall 13.2% to 589p. The company said it is confident of meeting expectations for the year but 'have some important months ahead.'

Screwfix owner Kingfisher (KGF) revealed pre-tax profit fell 10% to £682m in the year to 31 January 2018, prompting the stock to slump 10.7% to 301.6p.

SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Embattled Carpetright (CPR) nudged 1% higher to 41p after announcing it plans to close underperforming stores and restructure the business. The carpets retailer reported it is considering a company voluntary agreement to allow it to shut loss-making stores and cut its debt burden.

Formal menswear specialist Moss Bros (MOSB) warned profit for the year to January 2018 is expected to be 'materially lower than market expectations.' Its shares crashed 23.2% to 45p.

Struggling babywear retailer Mothercare (MTC) said its lenders deferred testing its financial covenants on 24 March. Investors marked the stock 4.4% higher to 16.4p.

Gulfsands Petroleum (GPX) announced it intends to seek shareholder approval to delist from AIM, triggering a 59.2% crash to 1.8p.

Oil and gas company Range Resources (RRL) revealed Range Resources Drilling Services won a contract with a subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell (RDSB), sparking a 32.8% surge in the shares to 0.2p.

Printing tech firm Xaar (XAR) rallied 16.6% to 312.6p after new products lifted sales by 4% to £100.1m in 2017.

Higher operating losses and lower net cash weighed on Cambian (CMBN), down 5.7% at 192.8p.


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