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20 Mar 2019 | 12:01

FTSE steady ahead of US rates call, no deal Brexit fears resurface

The FTSE 100 was flat at 7,322.86 by midday as investors await the US Federal Reserve's decision on interest rates later.

Sterling endured renewed volatility as Theresa May's apparent decision to only ask the EU for a short delay to Brexit raised concerns over a no deal outcome.


DIY group Kingfisher shed 1.4% to 241.9p after it reported a more than halving of annual profit and said it was searching for a replacement for chief executive Veronique Laury three years into her five-year turnaround plan.

Construction company Kier dropped 7.7% to 446.6p as it swung to a first-half loss amid weak performance in its developments and housing segment.

Automotive fluid system supplier TI Fluid Systems gained 9.5% to 188p on posting a 37% rise in annual profit, bucking weakness in global light vehicle markets.

Semiconductor components maker IQE reported annual pre-tax fell sharply as a slowdown in the semiconductor sector and a 'sudden disruption' in a highly significant supply chain hurt growth. The company also warned the ongoing softness in the semiconductor sector would dent first-half profits. The shares fell 6.7% on the news.


Restaurant operator Tasty slumped 23% as it posted a deeper annual loss and said it wouldn't open any more restaurants this year.

Bowling alley operator Ten Entertainment climbed 3.2% as it posted a 57% rise in annual profit and said it had agreed to acquire a site in Southport, England.

Compliance and business services provider SimplyBiz gained 6.9% to 204.8p after it announced that it had agreed to acquire Regulus Topco, the owner of the Defaqto financial services technology business, for £74.3m.

Antibiotics developer Motif Bio jumped 40% as the US Food & Drug Administration granted its request for a meeting to discuss its treatment for skin infections.

OptiBiotix Health gained 1.4% to 83.6p on announcing that it had entered into an exclusive agreement with DKSH International to distribute its weight management technology in Italy and Spain.

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