FTSE static ahead of US jobs data

London blue chips were unchanged at 7,194 as investors kept their powder dry ahead of unemployment data from the US.

Banking stocks Lloyds (LLOY) and Barclays (BARC) gained over 1% and the pound weakened against the dollar following yesterday's rally.

West Texas Intermediate and Brent crude oil rose 0.4% to $54 and $57 per barrel, respectively.

Gold was 0.3% lower at $1,176 per ounce and copper was flat at $5,577 per tonne.


Budget airline easyJet (EZJ) failed to take off despite delivering a 15% increase in passenger numbers in the year to December.


Shipping services group Clarkson (CKN) confirmed its full year results for 2016 will meet expectations, but this failed to move the stock.

Shares in home credit business International Personal Finance (IPF) slumped 6.8% on a dispute between its business in Poland and the local tax authorities.


Polymer technology developer Fenner (FENR) sparked 16.9% higher to 277.7p on an upbeat trading update as its current financial year is expected to surpass previous expectations. The company said its oil and gas operations were buoyed by an improved order intake and from refocusing its industrial business in North America.

Interdealer broker TP Icap (TCAP) jumped 8.4% on an uptick in trading activity for the final quarter of 2016. The firm said its interest rate derivatives, fixed income and treasury products benefitted from increased volatility and market activity after the election of Donald Trump as US president.

Gas storage firm InfaStrata (INFA) soared 71% to 0.7p after resources company Baron Oil (BOIL) agreed to loan £300,000. Combined with InfaStrata's existing funds, it will be able to meet minimal levels of maintenance costs for its Islandmagee project.

Fresh meat retailer Crawshaw (CRAW) declined 9.8% to 23p as group sales remained in the red in the five weeks to 1 January. Investors overlooked improved numbers as like-for-like rose from a 8.1% drop in November to -3.8% over Christmas.

Online musical instruments retailer Gear4music (G4M) failed to strike a chord with investors despite a rise in like-for-like sales by 55% to £24.4m in the four months to December. The company said it expects to deliver full year profits ahead of expectations.

Advanced surveillance technologies supplier Digital Barriers (DGB) secured two contracts. It said the first was with a major US Federal law enforcement agency and the second with a new customer in Africa, collectively worth $7m.

Global communications company Satellite Solutions (SAT) won a new contract with SES Techcom Services for new broadband capacity to support its ongoing sales in Europe. The firm also acquired the customers and supplier agreement from French broadband services provider SES Auvea Ingenierie for £870,000.

Shield Therapeutics (STX) dropped into negative territory after stating that pricing and reimbursement (P&R) agreements were slower than expected for its oral iron product Feraccru. It reported P&R approvals are now coming through.

Cellular materials technology provider Zotefoams (ZTF) acquired full ownership of its joint venture Kunshan ZOTEK King Lai from King Lai Group.