- Miners and oil majors weakened amid falling oil prices on reports US inventories rose last week, causing the FTSE 100 to dip 2.1 points to 7,194.

Sterling was volatile throughout the day ahead of a series of indicative votes from MPs that could potentially result in a softer Brexit and after a ruling from the Speaker of the House of Commons which brought into question a third meaningful vote on Theresa May's Brexit deal.

European equities and Wall Street were also subdued.

In corporate news, Debenhams jumped 27.4% after Sports Direct said it had proposed a takeover bid worth £61.4m for the ailing department store chain. Sports Direct retreated 0.5%.


Pets at Home gained 3.1% to 160.5p after Citigroup upgraded its investment rating from 'neutral' to 'buy.

CVC Capital Partners sold a significant stake in virus protection software maker Avast, causing shares in the latter to fall 4.5% to 283.5p.

Tobacco company Imperial Brands slipped 0.5% despite forecasting annual revenue at the upper end of its guidance range.

Bellway Homes added 2.2% after it reported an 8.7% rise in first-half profit, buoyed by higher home completions and selling prices.

AstraZeneca fell 0.9%, even as Japanese regulators approved its oral treatment for Type 1 diabetes.

RDI REIT rallied 14% on confirming media speculation that it had received an unsolicited takeover approach from Cromwell Property Group.

Food packing business Hilton Food surrendered earlier gains to trade down 2.8% to 914p as the acquisition in 2017 of seafood distributor Seachill helped boost its annual profit 27%.

Heat resistant materials supplier RHI Magnesita slipped 1.2% after it swung to a full-year profit, as volume growth and pricing gains propelled sales.


Advertising group M&C Saatchi posted a 16% rise in annual profit as it won new projects from clients including Reebok, eBay and Tourism Australia. Its shares, however, fell 3.6%.

OptiBiotix Health gained 1.4% on revealing that it had entered into a three-year distribution agreement with Silv Expo for Russia and Kazakhstan.

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