- The FTSE 100 failed to follow the US out of the red as investors were excited that the rate of US interest rate hikes could slow down amid positive comments from Federal Reserve's John Williams.

At close, the blue-chip index was 2.2 points lower at 6,709.

Wall Street enjoyed a more positive performance with the Dow Jones jumping 0.5% to 22,981 at around 4:45pm UK time.

Brent crude oil dipped 0.3% to $54.17 per barrel.


According to media reports, British Gas owner Centrica is considering a legal challenge against upcoming UK energy price caps on concerns the way the cap has been circulated is unfair. Shares in Centrica were flat at 136p.

Plastics firm RPC revealed potential suitor Apollo Global Management needed yet more time to decide on whether to make a firm bid for the company. Shares in the company nudged 0.7% lower to 664.4p as discussions with Apollo were 'well advanced'.

Vodafone confirmed it was looking for a new auditor, after deciding to replace PricewaterhouseCoopers amid a legal dispute over the collapse of phone retailer Phones 4U, causing the shares to slip 2% to 156.7p.

Anglo American strengthened 2.8% to £17.51 after announcing it has resumed operations at its Minas-Rio iron ore operation in Brazil following pipeline repairs.

Alcoholic drinks group Diageo completed the sale of a portfolio of nineteen brands to Sazerac for $550m. Its shares were broadly unmoved at £28.24 on the news.


Shares in CSF Group crashed 28% on to 0.9p after failing to appoint a new nominated advisor. Shares in the company are due to be suspended on 2 January and could be kicked off AIM if it fails to find a new advisor soon.

Pesticides supplier Plant Health Care plummeted 29.6% to 7p on a warning annual sales may be 'substantially' below market expectations following a drought in South Africa and a delayed shipment to Brazil.

Marlowe gained 2.8% to 412.4p on the acquisition of property-related health and safety group William Martin Compliance Solutions for £30m. It also launched a £7m share issue to help fund the deal.

There was bad news from public sector services supplier Interserve as it revealed the scale of its debt-for-equity deleveraging plans to try and drive down debt. The company warned issuing new equity may result in 'material dilution' for current shareholders.

Healthcare computer software group Craneware jumped 7.9% after saying it was confident of meeting annual market expectations amid continued sales momentum and high levels of revenue visibility.

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