- The pound fell on the latest ructions on the Brexit process. This had positive implications for the relative valuation of overseas earnings from the FTSE 100 and helped lift the index off its lows to trade broadly flat by the close.

Struggling department store House of Fraser announced plans to close 31 of its stores with 6,000 staff at risk of losing their jobs.

Amazon won the rights to stream Premier League football matches on its Amazon Prime streaming service, breaking the stranglehold enjoyed by [BOLD] Sky (SKY) and [BOLD] BT (BT.A).


Ascential (ASCL) warned its Cannes Lions division is facing a more challenging trading environment due to a forecast lower spending by advertising agencies, causing the shares to fall 4.5% to 416.2p.

Quality assurance provider Intertek (ITRK) acquired network security and assurance services provider NTA Monitor to bolster its presence in the UK security assurance and certification space. The shares ticked up 0.5% to £57.02.

Property developer Kier (KIE) established a joint venture with Homes England and Cross Keys Homes to develop nearly 5,400 homes across the country over the next ten years. Despite the development, the stock fell 7.7% to £10.00.

Auto Trader (AUTO) got a boost from online finance deals and rising used car prices, helping push pre-tax profit 10% higher in the year to the end of March. Shares in the company accelerated 8.7% to 384.9p.

British outsourcer Mitie (MTO) was up 0.9% at 197.6p after revealing adjusted operating profit fell 6% to £77.1m in the year to 31 March 2018, which was in line with guidance following investment in customer service and internal capabilities.

Online trading services specialist Plus500 (PLUS) said it continued to trade strongly and materially increased expectations for its financial performance in the year to 31 December 2018. The stock jumped 6.5% to £17.17.

CMC Markets (CMCX) enjoyed a 24% jump in pre-tax profit after trading volumes increased and sales per client rose, pushing the stock 4.3% higher to 195.2p.

Funerals provider Dignity (DTY) said trading remained strong following its first quarter results but the full year outlook remains unchanged. Dignity reported it is too early to conclude that trading experienced to date is indicative of the likely funeral price and volume mix going forwards. Its shares dipped 0.3% to £10.84.


Multimedia content producer Zinc Media (ZIN) rallied 30% to 0.65p on an exclusive representation deal with ICM Partners and two new commissions by its subsidiaries Reef Television and Tern Television.

OnTheMarket (OTMP) reported adjusted operating profit rose to £3.9m, up from £2.3m in the year to 31 January 2018, but operating losses increased to £10.8m, from £1.2m, including £14.7m of exceptional items. The shares fell 0.4% to 161.3p.

Pawnbroker Ramsdens (RFX) enjoyed a lift in customer numbers, helping to deliver continued growth across all business segments in the year ended 31 March 2018. The stock rose 5.7% to 196.04p.

Wilmcote Holdings (WCH) confirmed it is in discussions with Platform Specialty Products regarding a potential acquisition of its Agricultural Solutions segment, Arysta LifeScience.

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