Weak pound as FTSE 250 falls

Further weakness in the pound and a lower FTSE 250 reflected ongoing fears over the UK economic picture, while the blue chip index nudged higher to 7,056.

Banking stocks pulled the FTSE 100 lower as the market reacted badly to news on Friday that the government won't let the public buy its shares in Lloyds (LLOY) at a slight discount to the market price.

Leaked documents that suggest Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) attempted to profit from struggling companies also hit the sector.

Lloyds (LLOY), RBS (RBS) and Barclays (BARC) fell by up to 1.4%.

West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil fell 0.4% to $49.58 and Brent crude oil declined 0.2% to $51.80 per barrel, respectively.

Gold glittered at $1,259 per ounce and copper was up 0.7% to $4,784 per tonne.


BHP Billiton (BLT) was in positive territory after offering to buy a 10% stake in copper explorer SolGold (SOLG) for $30m, but the target said the deal was inferior to an investment proposal from Maxit and Newcrest.


Online bookie William Hill (WMH) said it is considering an all-share merger with Canadian gambling group Amaya. William Hill said it was struggling on digital aspects, while Amaya battled a reputational issue after its former CEO was accused of insider trading. Shares in William Hill rose 1.9% to 300p.

A month after a severe profit warning, Mitie (MTO) announced its chief executive Ruby McGregor-Smith will leave the business to be replaced by Phil Bentley, the former boss of Cable & Wireless Communications.

Ultra Electronics (ULE) won an $82m contract for the control and monitoring of US Navy critical infrastructure.

Online fast food delivery service Just Eat (JE.) invested £3.5m in hospitality industry tech business Flypa, which is 38% owned by Time Out (TMO).


InnovaDerma (IDP) soared 283% to 287.5p on significantly higher than expected revenue and profits for the year to 30 June 2016, which was driven by organic growth across its products and the contribution of its Skinny Tan business, which was acquired last year.

Surveillance system developer Petards (PEG) won a contract to supply Great Western Railway with its eyeTrain systems, triggering a share price rise of 13.2% to 17.5p.

Chrome and platinum producer Tharisa (THS) reported record fourth quarter production figures with higher than expected platinum group metals output. Chrome prices rose by approximately 50% in the three month period, which boosted Tharisa's earnings.

Amino Technologies (AMO) traded 7.3% higher after announcing it was trading ahead of expectations, which was driven by record orders in Augustu and favourable foreign exchange effects.

At Metal Tiger (MTR), chief executive Paul Johnson was demoted to consultant for its asset trading arm and to help with public relations work. Non-executive director Alex Borrelli became the chief executive, despite also being the CEO and chairman of AIM-quoted miner BMR (BMR).

Surface Transforms (SCE) slumped 6.5% to 25p after revealing it expects losses for its new financial year to be worse than expected.

Digital Barriers (DGB) agreed a deal allowing security group G4S (GFS) to use its special camera ThruVis that can detect weapons or explosives concealed under clothing.