Source - SMW
UK equities followed the US and Asia lower as investors wanted to lock in profits following a strong global rally.

The FTSE 100 dipped 0.2% to 7,738 with declines among companies such as Costa Coffee owner Whitbread (WTB) and Marks & Spencer (MKS).

In the US, the Nasdaq was down 0.5% at 7,223, while Japan's Nikkei 225 fell 0.3% to 23,868 overnight.

Brent crude oil nudged 0.5% lower to $68.80 per barrel. 


Events business Informa (INF) said it will merge with rival UBM (UBM) for £9bn. Following the deal, the merged business is expected to be the world's biggest business-to-business events company. Shares in Informa shed 8.6% to 683.2p while UBM rallied 10.4% to 868.5p.

Elsewhere, publisher Pearson (PSON) fell 5.3% to 680p as concerns over academic textbook demand overshadowed a stronger than expected profit before interest and tax in 2017.

Luxury fashion company Burberry (BRBY) was in the spotlight after retail sales grew 2% in the last three months of last year, which was lower than analyst expectations of 4% growth. The stock dropped 7.4% to £16.52.

Cinema chain Cineworld (CINE) revealed details of the £1.7bn rights issue to fund the acquisition of US chain Regal. Shares in Cineworld fell 4% to 540.5p.

Beazley (BEX) accelerated 3.4% to 525p after announcing anticipated pre-tax profits in 2017 will beat market expectations, partially due to sweeping US tax reforms.

Diploma (DPLM) failed to move at £11.97 despite a 10% increase in first quarter revenue.


Shares in Interserve (IRV) weakened 4.5% to 115.5p on reports that the UK government is concerned about its financial health following Carillon's (CLLN) shocking collapse on Monday.

Deltex Medical (DEMG) soared 98% to 2.08p following the addition of a major new hospital in the US.

Utilitywise (UTW) toppled 17.4% to 38p after a review of its accounting practices led to adjustments that would negatively impacts its equity and potentially profits.

Construction firm Henry Boot (BOOT) said pre-tax profit and earnings per share in 2017 would be 'comfortably ahead' of expectations. The stock gained 1.8% to 338p.