- Positive UK retail sales data failed to lift sterling as investors had jitters over whether a proposed delay to Brexit could be secured ahead of the currently scheduled exit date of 29 March.

The FTSE 100 remained in positive territory as it benefitted from a weaker pound and a rise in mining stocks, helping the blue-chip index gain 0.4% to 7,320. Brent crude oil dipped 0.5% to $68.13 per barrel.


Shares in Renishaw fell 10.4% to £37.64 on a profit warning after flagging a slowdown in demand in Asia for its encoder products and from large end-user manufacturers of consumer electronic products is expected to continue for the rest of the financial year.

Fashion retailer Next revealed online sales surged 14.8% while retail revenue declined 7.3% in the year ending January 2019. Shares in Next fell 0.6% to £51.48.

Investors also reacted negatively to news from Ted Baker after pre-tax profit declined 26.1% to £50.9m in the year to 26 January, causing the shares to shed 6.1% to £16.05.

Video game seller Game Digital revealed a 20% jump in pre-tax profit. The shares advanced 0.7%.

IG Group said third quarter revenues fell by more than 10% as a regulatory clampdown on derivative products continued to stifle new client growth, pushing the stock 4.1% lower to 525.5p.

Shares in health and environmental tech group Halma were flat at £16.69 despite it announcing that annual adjusted pre-tax profits are set to meet market expectations amid strong growth in its US and UK businesses.

Defence firm Chemring warned first half results may be affected by operational disruption at some sites, prompting the shares to fall 6.1% to 145.6p.

Shares in housebuilder Persimmon dropped 3.2% to £21.40 after revealing a customer care improvement plan, which may have an impact on profits.


Betting technology specialist Sportech announced sales fell 3.9% to £63.7m and adjusted earnings rose 18.8% to £8m in the year ending 31 December 2018. The stock declined 2.1% to 38.1p.

A profit warning from agricultural supplies group Wynnstay, blaming warm weather and Brexit, caused the share price to plummet 21.6% to 331.3p.

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