- World stock markets rallied after new US tariffs on Chinese goods were put on hold indefinitely.

The FTSE 100 only rose 5.1 points to 7,183 after sterling strengthened following reports of a potential delay to Brexit. A stronger pound hits the relative value of constituents' overseas earnings.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones jumped 0.7% to 26,226 at around 4:45pm UK time.

Brent crude oil fell 3.3% to $64.89 per barrel.


Sub-prime lender Provident Finance rejected a 'hostile offer' from Non-Standard Finance. Shares in the company rose 3.5% to 610p.

FTSE 100 housebuilder Persimmon was a notable faller, down 4.7% to £23.52 on weekend reports that its contract to sell homes under the Help to Buy Scheme might be under threat thanks to concerns over the running of the company held by housing minister James Brokenshire.

Peers such as Taylor Wimpey and Barratt Developments followed Persimmon lower, slipping 1.3% to 165.3p and 0.3% to 573.2p respectively.

Business supplies distributor Bunzl was down 3.6% to £24.46 despite posting adjusted profit of £559m, slightly ahead of expectations.

While the company was generally reassuring on the impact of Brexit, investors may have been spooked by margin pressure and a warning on changes in attitudes and regulation towards single-use plastics.

Primark-owner Associated British Foods was down 1.7% to £22.73 as it pointed to half-year sales up 4% for the high street budget fashion chain, boosted by new store openings but flagged a larger than expected 2% fall in like-for-like sales - analysts had pencilled in a 1.6% decline.

Press rumours that Daily Mail & General Trust was mulling the sale of its remaining 49% interest in financial sector publisher and data firm Euromoney, with the aim of returning proceeds to shareholders, lifted the company 1.8% to 627.5p. Euromoney shares were flat at £13.

Glasgow engineering firm Weir nudged 0.4% lower to £16.21 as it agreed to sell its flow control business to private equity firm First Reserve for £275m.

Mining group Centamin dived 23.7% to 102.5p as it reported a fall fourth quarter profit year-on-year to $50.5m thanks to lower gold sales.

Shopping centre investor Hammerson reversed earlier losses to trade 0.8% higher at 374.1p as it said it had won the backing of activist shareholder Elliott Advisors to sell more assets to bolster its balance sheet and expand its board.

Falling occupancy at its malls, which include Birmingham's Bullring, saw net rental income fall 6.2% year-on-year to £347.5m in 2018.


Small cap oil play United Oil & Gas gained 9.5% to 4.4p as it announced its Colter well after the south coast of the UK had made a 'bonus' oil and gas discovery.

Speciality chemicals firm Deepmatter fell 15% to 3.5p as it announced a placing at 2.5p to raise £4m to further the development of its technology.

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