- By midday the FTSE 100 was down 0.7% to 6,826.50 as fragile investor confidence was punctured by soft Chinese and European economic data and a lack of progress on Brexit.

Sterling fell sharply as Theresa May struggled to gain any concessions from the EU which might help get her draft Brexit deal through parliament.


Construction group Balfour Beatty climbed 4.4% to 257p as it announced its full-year performance would be above previous expectations, thanks to additional asset sales.

Aggreko added 1.4% to 725p after announcing that it had won a $200m contract to supply temporary electricity systems for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

AO World gained fell 1.4% to 124p as it confirmed that it expected its acquisition of phone retailer Mobile Phones Direct to be completed by Monday.

British American Tobacco fell 2.4% to £26.36 on announcing that it had appointed Paul Lageweg and Marina Bellini to the newly-created roles of new categories director and digital director. The roles of chief operator officer and business development director would now cease to exist, it added.


Daily Mirror and Express newspaper publisher Reach rallied 9.1% to 62.2p after it announced its performance for 2018 would be 'marginally' ahead of market expectations, even as like-for-like revenue fell 5% in the fourth quarter.

Specialist recruitment firm SThree rose 4.6% to 272p on upgraded expectations of a full-year adjusted profit slightly ahead of the current market consensus range.

Professional consultancy Science Group dropped 7% to 200p on news that it cancelled a formal sale process of the company, citing political and economic uncertainty.

Property services group Fletcher King shed 7.4% to 44.1p after first-half profits fell and it warned Brexit uncertainty would likely continue to hurt profits and fee income.

Story provided by