After a partial recovery in sterling the FTSE 100 surrendered earlier gains to trade a smidge lower at 7,337.01. The airline sector suffered some turbulence following a profit warning from German carrier Lufthansa. Easyjet led the descent, down 5.3%. Shares in packaging firm DS Smith were also under pressure, down 4% on a downgrade from Exane BNP Paribas. LARGE AND MID CAP RISERS AND FALLERS Royal Bank of Scotland added 1.9% after it confirmed that it would collect £400m from a sell-down of its stake in Alawwal bank, triggered by the latter's merger with Saudi British Bank. Construction company Kier shed 11.8% on announcing that it would suspend dividend payments, cut jobs and sell assets as part of turnaround programme to lower its debt. Defence contractor Babcock International climbed 4.2% after it revealed that it had in January rejected a takeover approach from outsourcing group Serco, on the basis that it had no strategic merit. Serco shares were broadly unchanged. AstraZeneca fell 0.5% despite a trial showing that its chronic lymphocytic leukaemia drug had significantly prolonged the time patients live without the disease. SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS Recruitment and training company Staffline slumped 37% after it said it would scrap its dividend and raise £37m from a share issue to cut debt, amid rising costs associated with an historical breach of UK wage rules. Reabold Resources jumped 25.6% and Union Jack Oil jumped 38% after the pair reported that an appraisal well at the West Newton prospect in Humberside, UK had encountered a 65 meter oil interval. Remote tracking technology company Starcom gained 2.7% on announcing that it was on track to grow it annual revenue and earnings in line with its expectations.
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