- The FTSE 100 gained 0.4% as sterling weakened following downbeat UK economic data and concerns over Brexit.

A fall in the pound boosts the relative value of the overseas earnings generated by constituents of the index.

Reports suggested the US and China could be close to ending their trade war, but Wall Street was sceptical as the Dow Jones fell 1.2% to 25,707 by around 5pm UK time.

Brent crude oil was up 0.7% at $65.56 per barrel and copper cheapened 0.8% to $2.91 per pound. Gold fell 1% to $1,283 per ounce.


Fashion retailer Ted Baker gained 4.7% to £19.82 following news that chief executive and founder Ray Kelvin had resigned while an investigation continued into allegations of personal misconduct.

British American Tobacco gained 0.3% despite expressing its disappointment that a Canadian court had upheld a decision to award billions of dollars to smokers in Quebec.

Financial services company Aviva gained 0.6% to 434.5p as it announced that international insurance head Maurice Tulloch would become its new chief executive.

Budget carrier Ryanair was broadly flat at €12.76 after it flew 13% more passengers during the month of February on-year.

Manufacturing group Senior gained 1.2% on the back of a 17% rise in annual profit, as sales grew at both its aerospace and piping system divisions.

Flow control equipment manufacturer Rotork tumbled 3.5%, paring earlier heavier losses, despite posting a 54% rise in annual profit, as it also warned of weaker sales growth in 2019.

Plastics manufacturer Synthomer reversed 8.1% to 365p after investors were left disappointed with a 3.9% rise in underlying annual profit.

Sports Direct made a takeover offer of approximately £139m for Findel, pushing shares in the latter 8% higher to 175p. Shares in Sports Direct were broadly unmoved at 274.2p.

Online gaming company 888 shed 1.8% on announcing that it had acquired BetBright's sports betting platform for £15m.

Information business group Euromoney Institutional Investor fell 4.6% to £12.40 after it confirmed that Daily Mail and General Trust planned to spin off its 49% stake in the company to shareholders.

Healthcare company investor Syncona said expected to collect £254.6m in proceeds from the agreed sale of portfolio company Nightstar to Biogen for $877m. Its shares gained 2.4% on the news.

Geotechnical specialist Keller Group gained 15.3% to 640p, despite reporting a lower annual profit owing to write-downs and restructuring costs.

Life sciences firm Abcam was down 12.8% at £11.68 after its interim results and its outlook for the second half of the year fail to cheer investors.


Film insurance firm FFI Holdings fell 40% to 13.5p as it said contract delays and trimmed movie budgets would hit performance.

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