StockMarketWire.com - There was a strong start for the FTSE 100 on Monday, which was supported by a rally in the utility sector.

United Utilities (UU.) rose 3.2% to 806.2p, followed by Severn Trent (SVT) with a 3.2% jump to £20.50.

National Grid (NG.) advanced 2.4% to 848.3p.

Around midday, the blue-chip index was trading 0.8% higher at 7,764.

Brent crude oil fell 1.4% to $75.68 per barrel.

MID AND LARGE CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Packaging specialist DS Smith (SMDS) announced it will buy Eastern European rival Europac for €1.67bn, making it one of the biggest blue-chip risers, up 3% at 579.4p.

Rolls-Royce (RR.) completed the sale of its L'Orange fuel injector business to Colorado-based Woodward, but this failed to move the stock at 837p.

Bank CYBG (CYBG) ticked 1.3% higher to 295.6p after making a revised takeover offer for Virgin Money (VM.) in a bid to create the UK's 'first true national baking competitor.'

A positive note on insulation provider SIG (SHI) from stockbroker Liberum sparked a 6.2% rally to 142.7p.

SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Technology business Seeing Machines (SEE) accelerated 18% to 9.2p following a deal to deliver its FIOVIO driver monitoring chip into mass production vehicles from 2020, which is expected to be worth $50m.

Freight management services provider Xpediator (XPD) expanded its air and sea fright activities by acquiring Anglia Forwarding for up to £4.2m. Shares in Xpediator gained 3.6% to 63.2p.

Monreal (MORE) announced it is considering ditching AIM in favour of the NEX Exchange Growth Market, causing the stock to plummet 35.6% to 0.07p.


Story provided by StockMarketWire.com