- Sterling strengthened after European Union negotiator Michel Barnier implied a more accommodating stance towards the UK during Brexit negotiations.

The stronger pound was bad news for the FTSE 100, which retreated 0.7% to 7,563.

Miners remained at the bottom of the pile with Fresnillo shedding 2.4% to 934.6p and Anglo American losing 1.8% to £15.96.

Brent crude oil fell 0.7% to $76.46 per barrel and copper cheapened 1.1% to $2.70 per pound.


Luxury car maker Aston Martin announced its intention to float on the London Stock Exchange, which could result in its entrance to the FTSE 250.

Diploma chief executive officer Richard Ingram left technical services supplier Diploma after only five months at the helm. Shares in the company rose 2.2% to £13.95 as investors responded to a positive trading update.

At Dunelm, non-executive director Rachel Osborne resigned with immediate effect to join Debenhams as chief financial officer. Investors marked the stock 2.5% lower to 519.5p.

Software specialist Micro Focus commenced a planned share buyback programme with an initial tranche of up to $20m, helping the shares advance 2.9% to £13.19.

There was good news from Petrofac following a jump in first half net profit to $190m thanks to a rise in oil prices. Despite the news, shares in the company slid 1.2% to 651.8p.

Marine services provider James Fisher was flat at £17.82 on robust first half results with rising pre-tax profits and a hiked dividend.


Telecom services provider Toople catapulted 361.2% higher to 0.9p on a major new wholesale contract with a 'well-known reseller' based in the south of England.

Sinclair Pharma soared 34.6% to 27p after agreeing to a 32p per share cash offer from a unit of China's Huadong Medicine.

Budget gym operator Gym Group struggled with a 14.4% drop in pre-tax profit in the first half of 2018 after an increase in exceptional costs from the acquisition of EasyGym. The stock reversed 2% to 318.5p.

Marketing services company Jaywing won £2m of new business, helping the stock accelerate 8.1% to 20p.

Story provided by