- The FTSE 100 kept its positive momentum going amid growing uncertainty over a UK interest rate hike in May as this put pressure on sterling.

Bank of England head Mark Carney said he didn't want to get too obsessed with the timing of rate hikes, which was perceived as a hint the Bank would not act at the next meeting.

The FTSE 100 closed 0.5% higher at 7,368.

Brent crude oil slipped 0.4% to $73.44 per barrel.


Wall Street continued to underperform with the S&P 500 down 0.9% at around 4:45pm UK time.


Consumer goods colossus Reckitt Benckiser (RB.) missed first quarter growth forecasts after its hygiene home division was affected by a competitive market. Its shares fell 2.8% to £56.25.

Rare diseases specialist Shire (SHP) dropped 3.8% to £38.21 after Irish pharma firm Allergan said it will not offer a takeover bid for the company. Shire rejected three buyout offers from Takeda, but this didn't deter the company from making another offer this afternoon.

There was more pressure on share prices in the sector following an announcement from Vectura (VEC) that chief financial officer Andrew Derodra has left the company for medical diagnostics business Unilabs. Shares in Vectura declined 6.2% to 98p.

Addiction treatment firm Indivior (INDV) submitted a new opioid abuse treatment drug Sublocade to Health Canada, helping the stock advance 1.4% to 436.4p.

Parcels delivery service Royal Mail (RMG) confirmed CEO Moya Greene will leave the company, to be replaced by Rico Back. The stock was flat at 560p.


Currency manager Record (REC) slumped 12.5% to 42.9p amid a drop in assets in its fourth quarter.

Drinks company Distil (DIS) rose 12.4% to 2.4p on news a major UK pub chain is planning to sell its RedLeg Spiced Rum drink on its premises.

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