- The imposition of US sanctions on Russian companies helped contribute to weakness in the mining sector and saw the FTSE 100 erase earlier gains to close more or less flat.

Russian steel giant Evraz (EVR), down 15.8% to 379.2p, and gold miner Polymetal, off 16.8% to 602.6p, were among those hit.

Miner Glencore (GLEN) fell 3.7% to 338.19p and Fresnillo (FRES) retreated 1.9% to £12.19. Peers Randgold Resources (RRS) and Antofagasta (ANTO) also followed the sector lower.


Rolls-Royce (RR.) accelerated 1.3% to 879.6p after signing an agreement to sell the subsidiary of Rolls-Royce Power Systems, L'Orange, to Woodward, for £610m.

Rathbone Brothers (RAT) confirmed it is in discussions concerning a potential takeover of UK investment management firm Speirs & Jeffrey. Shares in Rathbone were steady at £23.98.

Entertainment One (ETO) acquired a 70% controlling stake in Whizz Kid Entertainment, a UK-based non-scripted television production company, from Whizz Kid Sellers. Its shares were flat at 278.2p.

UK parcels delivery service Royal Mail (RMG) was down 0.6% to 553.2p after media reports over the weekend that chief executive Moya Greene plans to stand down this year.


Oil firm Pantheon Resources (PANR) nearly halved in value as it produced water rather than oil from its VOBM#5 well in Texas.

Struggling fashion retailer French Connection (FCCN) said it is selling its mail order business Toast to Denmark's BESTSELLER for £23.3m. Shares in French Connection strutted 16.3% higher to 50p.

Embattled Avanti Communications (AVN) lost 31.95% to 7.4p after issuing further restructuring proposals, including a debt-for-equity swap which would allow Solos Funds to own a 42% stake.

Baby retailer Mothercare (MTC) slumped 13% to 17.06p on speculation in the weekend papers that it could close a third of its stores in a bid to save the business.

Oil shale exploration specialist TomCo Energy (TOM) delivered good progress in advancing its TurboShale subsidiary as it seeks to build upon its successful BART programme. The good news triggered a 73.9% rally to 3p.

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