- Stronger sterling continued to weigh on the FTSE 100, which fell 0.3% to 7,013 amid declines in the banking sector.

The pound started to claw back some losses after environment secretary Michael Gove decided to remain in government for now, offering a little support to Theresa May and the draft Brexit deal.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones and S&P 500 were off to a subdued start while the tech-heavy Nasdaq was down 0.6% at 7,213 around 4:45pm UK time.

Brent crude oil rose 0.8% to $67.14 per barrel.


Pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca slumped 1.8% to £62.04 after a clinical trail found its Imfinzi treatment for small-cell lung cancer did not improve overall survival rates.

Imperial Brands, meanwhile, gained 1.3% to £26.38 after it confirmed it was adding child protection features to its vaping products, amid a US regulatory crackdown on underage use that included a ban on menthol cigarettes.

Construction company Kier added 3.7% to 856p after it sold an Australian asset for around £24m as part of a debt reduction drive and confirmed its annual earnings would be second-half weighted.

Environmental technology group Halma climbed 2% to £13.36 as it announced it had acquired radar surveillance outfit Navtech Radar for up to £39m.


Telematics and other data provider Trakm8 Holdings plunged 65.3% to 22.3p as it swung to a first-half loss and downgraded its annual guidance, blaming a fall in overall contract revenue and trade sanctions against Iran.

Oil and gas producer Parkmead Group slipped 1.2% to 59.4p a deeper annual loss that owed to extra spending on exploration.

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