StockMarketWire.com - The FTSE 100 closed up a handful of points at 7,451.89 after continuing Brexit-inspired volatility in the pound and a soft start to trading on Wall Street. By 4.30pm UK time the S&P 500 was down 0.2% to 2,886.87.

Elsewhere the oil price topped $70 per barrel on supply disruption linked to the ongoing civil war in Libya. Shares in UK oil majors BP and Royal Dutch Shell were up 1.3% and 0.9% respectively.

Shares in luxury car manufacturer Aston Martin Lagonda were down 8.3% as investment bank Deutsche Bank downgraded the shares. Over-50s insurance and travel group Saga suffered further losses after last week's profit warning, falling 10% on its own downgrade from UBS.

Amid wider weakness in the banking sector, Barclays fell 0.4% to 162.2p as activist investor Edward Bramson warned the company would have to raise more money unless it dials back on its investment banking operations.

LARGE AND MID CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Debenhams pared earlier gains to trade down 9.7% after Sports Direct confirmed it had offered to underwrite a £150m equity raising by the struggling department store chain.

Sports Direct subsequently revealed the Debenhams board had rejected the offer and it looks increasingly likely the company will end up in the hands of its lenders.

Sports Direct, which said the raising was an alternative to its takeover approach for Debehnhams, dipped 0.2% to 281.3p

Pharmaceutical company Indivior advanced 5.9% after it presented data from two new studies on the treatment of opioid abuse.

Student accommodation company Unite edged 0.4% higher as value of both of its key funds rose in the March quarter.

Energean Oil and Gas climbed 2.2% as it achieved first oil from a well in the Mediterranean Sea, which flowed at more than 1,000 barrels per day

SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Impax Asset Management gained 1.8% as it said its second-quarter assets under management rose by 15% from the previous quarter following a 'strong' start to 2019.

London office and industry property investor McKay Securities rise 3.2% on announcing that it had signed a new secured £180m revolving credit facility with a maturity of five years, on better terms.

Equipment rental group Vp rose 4% after forecasting its annual results to be 'well ahead' of the prior year, and in line with market expectations.

Small cap diamond miner Firestone Diamonds gained 6.4% as it discovered a 72 carat yellow, makeable diamond from its Liqhobong Mine in Lesotho.

The 72 carat diamond was recovered over the past weekend, together with a 22 carat makeable white stone, followed by an 11 carat fancy light-pink stone, the company said.


Story provided by StockMarketWire.com