- Global equities were pretty subdued with little news to drive any momentum, while the FTSE 100 was broadly unmoved at 7,173.

Reports that European Council president Donald Tusk spoke of a 'special place in hell' for people who promoted Brexit without a plan failed to upset the pound.

Wall Street slipped into the red led by the Nasdaq, down 0.4% at 7,374 at around 5pm UK time.

Brent crude oil rose 1% to $62.58 per barrel.


House builder Barratt Developments gained 2.8% after it unveiled a 19% rise in first-half profit driven by higher completions and stronger margins.

Rival builder Redrow climbed 1% on news it had declared a special cash payout to shareholders amid a 5% rise in first-half profit.

Plastics supplier Victrex was up 1.7% at £23.86 on announcing that its first-quarter revenue slumped, due to market headwinds, de-stocking and adverse currency movements.

Water utility Severn Trent advanced 0.3% after announcing that it would post a full-year performance in line with its prior guidance.

AstraZeneca dropped 0.3% despite announcing that US regulators had granted orphan drug status for its treatment for hypereosinophilic syndrome, a rare condition that can damage organs in the body.

Financial services company Just Group added 0.4% as it posted a 15% rise in annual new business sales, buoyed by increased demand for retirement income products.

Brick maker Ibstock dipped 0.2% on announcing it had poached Tate & Lyle's Chrish McLeish to be its new chief financial officer, to replace Kevin Sims, who had decided to retire by year-end.

Industrial and electronics products supplier Electrocomponents gained 4.4% as it notched 6% growth in like-for-like revenue in the fourth months through January on-year.

High street lender CYBG revealed net annual interest margins hit the top end of its forecast range, sparking a 14% rally to 203.8p.


Outsourcer Interserve retreated 1.8% after agreeing a de-leveraging plan with its lenders, bondholders and pension trustees. There were also reports that the company received a letter from shareholder Coltrane Master Fund calling for a general meeting to dismiss nearly the entire board.

Broking house WH Ireland dropped 9.7% after it warned that volatile market conditions had hit revenue across all of its businesses, while its costs had also risen.

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