- After a solid start this morning, the FTSE 100 started slipping into the red as weaker utility stocks weighed on performance.

The sector was not in favour following a drop in pre-tax profits at United Utilities (UU.), causing the shares to dim 2% to 786.6p. Severn Trent (SVT) fell 2.4% to £20.27 and British Gas owner Centrica (CNA) declined 1.1% to 145.9p.

The FTSE 100 was 3.8 points lower at 7,784 around midday.

Brent crude oil dipped 0.7% to $79.20 per barrel.


Wall Street enjoyed a good run overnight as with the tech-heavy Nasdaq leading the charge, closing 0.6% higher at 7,425.


B&Q owner Kingfisher (KGF) blamed harsh weather across Europe and weak UK consumer demand for a 4% fall in sales in its first quarter to 30 April. Shares in the company were up 1.7% at 300.6p.

Product inspection specialist Intertek (ITRK) remained on track to deliver 2018 targets with a 4.4% rise in sales in the first four months of the year, pushing the stock 3.3% higher to £53.46.

Engineering tools distributor Electrocomponents (ECM) sparked 11.7% higher to 702.2p after operating profit rose 28.1% to £177.1m in the year to 31 March. It also revealed the acquisition of IESA for £88m.

Hungarian airline Wizz Air (WIZZ) was up 4.2% at £32.78 after forecasting net profit of between €310m and €340m in the year to 31 March 2019, representing a slight increase from €329m consensus.

Sugar producer Tate & Lyle (TATE) unveiled a 23% increase in pre-tax profits to £286m, helping to sweeten the shares 8.6% to 661.6p.

Telecoms firm TalkTalk (TALK) reported it is back to customer growth in the year to 31 March after a decline in the previous year and revealed it will sell its B2B business to the Daisy Group for £175m. Its shares ticked 1.4% higher to 122.9p.

Waste-to-product business Renewi (RWI) beat upgraded expectations, boosting the shares by 7% to 76.6p.

Private hospital group Mediclinic (MDC) lost 6.3% to 636.6p following an operating loss of £288m, partially due to Hirslanden property impairment charges.

Brick maker Ibstock (IBST) said it saw a slower than anticipated start to 2018 after an 'extended winter season'. The shares weakened 5.7% to 275.8p.


Shares in Katoro Gold (KAT) more than doubled to 1.6p on the news that there is still good upside exploration and development potential for the further development of the Imweru gold project.

Range Resources (RRS) exceeded its production target of 800 barrels of oil per day, triggering a 28.3% rise in the stock to 0.2p.

Sabre Insurance (SBRE) struggled with competitive pricing at the end of 2017, which continues into 2018 and hit premium income, but the stock was flat at 270p.

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