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FTSE 100 consolidates its position above 7,000

The FTSE 100 was up 0.2% to 7,029.73 by midday on Monday as it consolidated last week's big gains despite a rise in the pound on reopening optimism.

Sterling strength normally hits the large cap index because of the impact on the relative value of its dominant overseas earnings.

Engineering group Melrose Industries fell 1.9% to 175.5p, having agreed to sell its Nortek Air Management business to Chicago-based Madison Industries for around £2.62 billion ($3.625 billion).

Melrose Industries said a portion of the proceeds would be returned to shareholders, without specifying how much. It also intended to use them to cut debt and contribute around £100 million to pension schemes.

Oil and gas company Energean fell 4.6% to 817.5p after it reported a widening of annual pre-tax losses amid lower energy prices.

Energean said it would target a maiden dividend in 2022.

Mining group Polymetal International firmed 2.1% to £15.90 on announcing an initial ore estimate for the Buranny area of the Tomtor niobium and rare-earth metals project in Yakutia, Russia.

Polymetal said the estimate, by ThreeArc Mining, made Tomtor one of the top-three rare earths projects globally by reserves.

Healthcare investor Syncona shed 0.4% to 242p amid news that portfolio company Gyroscope Therapeutics had filed a registration statement for an initial public offering in the US.

Gyroscope was a clinical-stage gene therapy company focused on treating diseases of the eye.

Building insulation group Kingspan climbed 2.4% after it reported a 24% rise in first-quarter sales, led by strength in mainland Europe, and said its outlook for the second quarter was positive.

Specialist wealth manager Mattioli Woods gained 5% to 766.5p as it acquired Caledonia Asset Management for up to £1.6 million.

Auto dealer Marshall Motor fell 1.8% to 172.3p as it confirmed that chairman Richard Parry-Jones had died suddenly following an accident near his home in Wales on Friday.

Parry-Jones had been chairman since January 2019. Senior independent director Alan Ferguson would assume the role of chairman in the interim.

Property company LondonMetric Property rose 0.2% to 221.8p after it collected 98% of the March quarterly and monthly rents, with a further 0.8% expected 'imminently.'

IT services company SysGroup fell 0.9% to 42.1p on guiding for a 3% rise in annual adjusted earnings, even after its revenue fell 7%, due to acquisition synergies and cost cutting.