A very robust non-farm payrolls number was seen as reducing the likelihood of an imminent rate cut from the US Federal Reserve and the FTSE 100 closed down 0.6% at 7,553.14. By 4.30pm the US S&P 500 index was also down 0.6% at 2,978.59. Mining stocks continued to struggle, Rio Tinto falling 4.1%, while further signs of weakness in the UK housing market hit housebuilders, Persimmon falling 2.3%. Aviation services firm John Menzies guided for full year earnings to be at best flat year-on-year after a weaker than expected first half performance. Its shares fell 10.6%. Investment trust Lindsell Train fell 18.4% as Hargreaves Lansdown removed the company from its list of favourite funds. LARGE AND MID CAP RISERS AND FALLERS In a first half trading update specialist building materials supplier SIG said it expected to hit full year expectations but said it 'will continue to monitor how trading conditions develop'. Investors took fright as the stock declined 5.3%. The company reported a 3.8% like-for-like decline in revenue in the first six months of its financial year. This encompassed a 12.7% like-for-like decline in the UK and a 3.3% advance in Mainland Europe. Marine services provider James Fisher and Sons announced the appointment of Eoghan O'Lionaird as CEO, dipping 0.6% in response. Miner Ferrexpo fell 4.8% as it said it expected first-half sales to increase by approximately 4% amid 'stronger' iron ore prices and premiums for iron ore pellets. Dechra Pharmaceuticals dipped 1.4% as it acquired a further 15% stake in Medical Ethics for a total of about AUD$13.5m from the current shareholders, taking its total holdings in the company to 48%. SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS Westminster Group, a supplier of managed services and technology-based security solutions worldwide, has entered into a strategic alliance agreement with the Gulf Aviation Academy of Bahrain (GAA) for the provision of aviation and other specialised training services. Its shares were up 4.6% in response.
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