- The FTSE 100 was kept spared heavier falls by sterling weakness on Wednesday as other global markets came under pressure amid renewed concern about trade between the US and China and after a profit warning from German carmaker BMW.

The FTSE was down 0.3% by the close, the pound falling as uncertainty over a delay to Brexit heightened no deal fears. Housebuilding stocks came under pressure thanks to their domestic focus, Persimmon leading the way lower with a 3.7% decline to £22.20.


DIY group Kingfisher shed 5.3% to 232.4p after it reported a more than halving of annual profit and said it was searching for a replacement for chief executive Veronique Laury three years into her five-year turnaround plan.

Construction company Kier dropped 11.1% to 430.3p as it swung to a first-half loss amid weak performance in its developments and housing segment.

Automotive fluid system supplier TI Fluid Systems gained 11% to 190.6p on posting a 37% rise in annual profit, bucking weakness in global light vehicle markets.

Semiconductor components maker IQE reported annual pre-tax fell sharply as a slowdown in the semiconductor sector and a 'sudden disruption' in a highly significant supply chain hurt growth. The company also warned the ongoing softness in the semiconductor sector would dent first-half profits. The shares fell 10.1% on the news.


Restaurant operator Tasty slumped 18.8% to 6.9p as it posted a deeper annual loss and said it wouldn't open any more restaurants this year.

Bowling alley operator Ten Entertainment climbed 3.9% as it posted a 57% rise in annual profit and said it had agreed to acquire a site in Southport, England.

Compliance and business services provider SimplyBiz gained 8.5% to 207.9p after it announced that it had agreed to acquire Regulus Topco, the owner of the Defaqto financial services technology business, for £74.3m.

Antibiotics developer Motif Bio jumped 66.1% as the US Food & Drug Administration granted its request for a meeting to discuss its treatment for skin infections.

OptiBiotix Health gained 1.1% to 83.4p on announcing that it had entered into an exclusive agreement with DKSH International to distribute its weight management technology in Italy and Spain.

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