- After a partial recovery in sterling the FTSE 100 surrendered earlier gains to trade a smidge lower at 7,337.01.

The airline sector suffered some turbulence following a profit warning from German carrier Lufthansa. Easyjet led the descent, down 5.3%.

Shares in packaging firm DS Smith were also under pressure, down 4% on a downgrade from Exane BNP Paribas.


Royal Bank of Scotland added 1.9% after it confirmed that it would collect £400m from a sell-down of its stake in Alawwal bank, triggered by the latter's merger with Saudi British Bank.

Construction company Kier shed 11.8% on announcing that it would suspend dividend payments, cut jobs and sell assets as part of turnaround programme to lower its debt.

Defence contractor Babcock International climbed 4.2% after it revealed that it had in January rejected a takeover approach from outsourcing group Serco, on the basis that it had no strategic merit. Serco shares were broadly unchanged.

AstraZeneca fell 0.5% despite a trial showing that its chronic lymphocytic leukaemia drug had significantly prolonged the time patients live without the disease.


Recruitment and training company Staffline slumped 37% after it said it would scrap its dividend and raise £37m from a share issue to cut debt, amid rising costs associated with an historical breach of UK wage rules.

Reabold Resources jumped 25.6% and Union Jack Oil jumped 38% after the pair reported that an appraisal well at the West Newton prospect in Humberside, UK had encountered a 65 meter oil interval.

Remote tracking technology company Starcom gained 2.7% on announcing that it was on track to grow it annual revenue and earnings in line with its expectations.

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