Source - SMW
The FTSE was flat as investors focused more on overseas events. On the currency market, the pound was weak against the dollar and strong versus the euro.

The FTSE 100 was trading at 7,536 around midday. Declines among banks, insurance companies and miners were offset by gains from tobacco manufacturers, utilities and telecoms.

Japan was the centre of attention as Shinzo Abe won the latest general election, supporting sentiment in the country as the Nikkei 225 closed 1.1% higher at 21,696 this morning.

In Europe, there was a stalemate between Madrid and Catalonia over independence for Catalonia.

Arqiva announced it would float on London's Main Market. Media reports suggested it would be valued in the region £4.5bn, making it big enough to enter the FTSE 100. The business specialises in TV and radio broadcast infrastructure and hinted at generous dividends.

Brent crude oil dipped 0.2% to $57.62 per barrel. Gold and copper nudged 0.2% lower each to $1,274 per ounce and $3.15 per pound. 

OVERSEAS MARKETS

In Asia, the markets outside of Japan were subdued with China's SSE Composite flat at 3,380 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng down 0.6%.

MID AND LARGE CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Engineering business GKN (GKN) jumped 3.8% to 315p after an article in The Sunday Times said the company was looking to split into two businesses. GKN didn't comment.

Private hospital operator Spire Healthcare (SPI) rejected a takeover bid from 29.9% shareholder Mediclinic (MDC) saying the proposal significantly undervalued the firm. Shares in Spire rallied 12.5% to 294p on the news.

Both HSBC and Deutsche Bank lowered their price targets for Barclays (BARC), but the high street bank's shares only dipped 0.3% to 195p in response.

Waste management group Renewi (RWI) was up 5.8% to 104.3p after saying full year results would be much higher than the board's previous expectations.

Packaging products provider Essentra (ESNT) revealed like-for-like sales growth for the first time since the end of 2015, helping the stock advance 2.3% to 514p.

SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

It was a bad start to the week for car seller Pendragon (PDG), down 19% to 23.5p, following a profit warning amid declining in demand for new cars and lower prices for used cars.

The firm said full year pre-tax profit was expected to hit £60m instead of £75m previously forecast by analysts. Chairman Mel Egglenton also resigned for personal reasons and has been replaced by Chris Chambers.

Real Good Food (RGD) was the biggest small cap faller after reducing its anticipated full year earnings estimates, which was affected by higher costs, production disruptions, wastage and pressure on margins. The stock dropped 11.6% to 22.9p.

Property regeneration specialist Harworth (HWG) won planning permission to redevelop the former Thoresby Colliery for 800 homes and 250,000 square feet of workspace. The stock was up 1.6% to 106.2p. 

Dialight (DIA) struggled due to a slower than expected production ramp up, prompting broker Investec to cut its valuation for the LED specialist by 12% to 965p. The market was disappointed with the update as the shares plummeted 15.2% to 691.2p.