StockMarketWire.com - Weakness in housebuilders, miners and utilities dragged the FTSE 100 0.2% lower to 7,495 by the close on Monday.

Housebuilders slid on news that the UK government is considering a stamp duty surcharge of approximately 1% to 3% on foreign buyers.

Shares in Berkeley dropped 3.4% to £35.55 followed by Persimmon's 2% decline to £23.18.

Wall Street enjoyed a strong start to the week thanks to the US and Canada agreeing a deal to place the North American Free Trade Agreement.

The Dow Jones made the biggest gain, jumping 1% higher to 26,724 around 5pm UK time.

Brent crude oil rallied 2.4% to $84.69 per barrel.

MID AND LARGE CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

UK parcels service Royal Mail plummeted 18% to 391.4p on a surprise profit warning as it misses productivity targets and cost savings.

Strikes and higher costs took their toll on airline Ryanair which cut its annual profit guidance by 12% from between €1.25bn to €1.35bn to a new range of €1.1bn to €1.2bn, dragging the shares 12.8% lower to €11.43. Other airlines also fell in response including a 3% decline in EasyJet.

Specialist financial services company Just Group slumped 9.1% to 80.3p on chief financial officer Simon Thomas' decision to step down after 12 years of service. David Richardson will take over the role on an interim basis.

Outsourcer Mitie was down 1.1% at 145p despite revealing plans to sell its pest control business to Rentokil for £40m as concerns around trading subdued sentiment.

Mining colossus Rio Tinto reported its joint venture partners Mitsui and Nippon Steel & Sumitomo plan to invest $1.55bn to keep production capacity going at two iron ore projects in Western Australia. Shares in Rio Tinto were broadly unmoved at £38.43.

UK supermarket Tesco dipped 1.3% to 236.7p after Tesco Bank agreed to pay a £16.4m fine following a cyber attack.

Pharma giant AstraZeneca completed a deal with Cheplapharm Arzneimittel for the commercial rights to heart failure treatment Atacand and Atacand Plus. The news failed to spark any gains at £59.90.

SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

European Metals rallied 12.5% to 21.9p on 'significant advancements' in the development of the Cinovec Lithium-Tin project.

In the same sector, Avocet Mining warned it could be broken up amid talks with activist investor Elliott concerning debt restructuring, prompting a 37.6% crash in the share price to 7.4p.


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