The FTSE 100 hit its lowest level in a month amid disappointment on progress with US tax cuts and strength in sterling. A strong pound tends to have negative implications for the FTSE 100 as 70% of its earnings come from overseas. Distribution and outsourcing group Bunzl (BNZL) was the biggest faller on the FTSE 100 as Goldman Sachs trimmed its price target on the stock from £26.00 to £25.00 and Morgan Stanley analysts argued Amazon could be a threat to its business. The shares were down 6% to £21.70. Broker downgrades also dog luxury goods firm Burberry (BRBY) which fell 2% to £17.52 as analysts responded to yesterday's strategy update. LARGE AND MID CAP RISERS AND FALLERS Bike retailer Halfords (HFD) gained 7.6% to 334.5p as investment bank Deutsche Bank upped its recommendation on the stock from 'sell' to 'hold'. FTSE 250 support services company Capita (CPI) recovered from earlier losses to trade 0.5% higher at 506p after agreeing to pay a further £66m to settle with the FCA over the Connaught Income Series 1 Fund. The fund went into liquidation in 2o12 and Capita settled in 2016 for £18.5m. However, the FCA decided that Capita Financial Managers (CFM) had not met all the regulatory requirements between 2008 and 2009. CFM is no longer part of Capita as it has disposed of its Asset Services business. Defence company Ultra Electronics (ULE) fell 11.8% to £15.20 as it revealed an extended timeline for getting its acquisition of US rival Spartan passed by US regulators. The company expects a decision from the Department of Justice by the end of March 2018. Miner Vedanta Resources (VED) lost 12.5p to 841p despite revealing it had swung into profit for the six months to 30 September. It made a $21m profit compared to a $64m loss for the same period a year ago. Semiconductor wafers designer IQE (IQE) gained 17.1% to 163.88p as it successfully raised £95m to fund its growth plans. SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS Metals machining company Castings (CGS) dropped 3.3% to 445p as pre-tax profits fell to £5.9m in the six months to 30 September. This is down from £7.1m on the year before. However, revenue was up to £61.7m from £57.9m. AIM-quoted energy company Gulfsands Petroleum (GPX) was marked down 8% to 5.75p as its announced it is exiting Morocco. The company is immediately winding down its activities in the North African country.
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