The FTSE remained in negative territory as oil majors BP (BP.) and Royal Dutch Shell (RDSB) struggled. BP declined 1.3% to 501.1p despite media reports of new two North Sea oil and gas discoveries. Shell retreated 1.2% to £24.96. Banks were also on the back foot, with Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) down 1.5% at 287.7p. Lloyds (LLOY) and HSBC (HSBA) followed its peer lower. The FTSE closed 0.7% lower at 7,533. Brent crude oil nudged 0.4% lower to $68.70 per barrel. Gold gained 0.4% to $1,340 per ounce and copper climbed 0.7% to $3.20 per pound. Wall Street recovered ahead of the first meeting of the US Federal Reserve this year. A rate rise is not expected but the market will be looking for signals about future hikes as Janet Yellen prepares to step down as chair. The S&P 500 rose 0.2% to 2,828 around 4:45pm UK time. MID AND LARGE CAP RISERS AND FALLERS Embattled support services specialist Capita (CPI) revealed a drastic transformation plan and suspended dividend payments until it generates 'sustainable' free cash flow. Investors were alarmed as the shares plummeted 47.5% to 182.5p. Johnson Matthey (JMAT) sold its automotive battery systems business to Cummins and agreed to collaborate on the development of high energy battery materials for commercial applications. The stock sparked 4.5% to £34.58. Britvic (BVIC) disappointed the market following a fall in sales in France and its international markets. The Robinsons squash maker was marked 6.3% lower to 734.5p despite sales rising 3.3% to £337.2m in the quarter to 24 December. Wizz Air (WIZZ) was down 3.1% at £34.63 after operating profit fell 5.6% to €14.6m in the last three months of 2017 on pressures from fuel costs and the weaker dollar. Ultra Electronics (ULE) reported its acquisition of US firm Spartan might be pushed back following delays by the US Department of Justice who requested more information. Shares in the defence firm were flat at £15.26. SSE (SSE) pleased the market with news that it expects to increase its dividend in line with inflation as it delivered a modest increase in earnings guidance. The stock was up 1.1% at £13.04. Dairy Crest (DCG) experienced strong growth across its key brands, including its Cathedral City and Clover brands, helping its shares gain 5.1% to 588.5p. SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS Real Good Food (RGD) slumped 10.9% to 20.05p after reporting it expects the outturn for 2017 to be an earnings loss of up to £3.5m. The company said its performance in the last few weeks of the year was 'materially below' its expectations. Investors were underwhelmed by the lack of substance in Blenheim Natural Resources' (BNR) latest lithium results in Mali, wiping off more than a fifth of its market cap.
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