FTSE 100 struggles for direction amid political and economic uncertainty
Source - SMW
The FTSE 100 was up a handful of points by midday at 7,455.71 with investors weighing the latest Brexit developments, as Theresa May headed to Berlin, as well as rising tensions between the EU and US on trade.
With the US first quarter earnings season set to get underway later this week, US futures are pointing to a modestly lower open.
LARGE AND MID CAP RISERS AND FALLERS
Sports Direct gained 1.7% to 285.8p after announcing that it had offered to underwrite a £200m share issue by Debenhams after the department store chain rejected its bid to back a £150m issuance.
Debenhams shares were suspended from trading while it considered its options with its lenders with the company widely expected to enter administration.
GlaxoSmithKline said its ViiV Healthcare joint venture with Pfizer had received regulatory approval in the US for a two-drug treatment for HIV. Its shares, however, were little moved.
British brand Ted Baker slipped 0.7% after Jefferies downgraded its recommendation on the stock. Utilities firm Severn Trent also came under pressure as JPMorgan Cazenove moved from 'overweight' to 'neutral'.
SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS
Digital music platform 7digital slumped 68% as it said it will need to raise more cash to continue as a going concern in the wake of a decision by European retailer MediaMarktSaturn to cancel a partnership agreement earlier this year.
Equipment rental group Vp fell 9% after UK regulators said it was among three companies found to have breached competition law by engaging in cartel conduct.
Online gambling group Stride Gaming tumbled 10.7% as it downgraded its sales guidance, blaming 'fiscal and regulatory changes' implemented in the second half of calendar 2018.
Online women's fashion retailer Sosandar gained 4.2% on announcing that it expected to more than triple its annual revenue, though still book a loss.
Brewin Dolphin, meanwhile, signed an agreement with Avaloq to replace its core custody and settlement system, at a cost of around £35m. Its shares were up 1.5%.
Fund manager Premier Asset Management shed 2.9%, after it announced that a fall in net inflow levels had limited its annual growth in assets under management to 6.3%.
One Media iP soared 23.1% on news that it had acquired the rights for songs by country music writer Michael Dulaney, for $850k.