Western Mail - - SHARES - In­forma DS Smith SSE Brands Na­tional Grid In­forma Easy­Jet Im­pe­rial Burberry Antofa­gasta Fres­nillo

THE FTSE 100 ended the week in the red as con­cerns at the prospect of ris­ing US in­ter­est rates and the bud­get stand-off be­tween Rome and Brus­sels con­spired to hit stocks.

Lon­don’s top tier closed down 35.34 points, or 0.49%, at 7,105.34.

In stocks, was in the dol­drums amid fears its merger with ri­val npower has been left “in a sham­bles” af­ter be­ing de­layed due to the in­com­ing cap on de­fault tar­iff prices. The pair said they are rene­go­ti­at­ing the terms of their tie-up as a re­sult of the cap, which is set to see the deal de­layed.

En­ergy ex­perts at Jef­feries said the merger was left in a “sham­bles”, with wor­ries for the fu­ture vi­a­bil­ity of the deal, which aims to cre­ate the UK’s sec­ond-big­gest gas and elec­tric­ity sup­plier. The two firms had been hop­ing to seal the merger of their re­tail op­er­a­tions in the first quar­ter of 2019 af­ter it was re­cently given the green light by the com­pe­ti­tion watch­dog. SSE shares were down 30p at 1,152.5p at the close.

shares were in the as­cen­dancy af­ter the events busi­ness booked un­der­ly­ing rev­enue growth of 3.9% in the first 10 months of the year of ri­val UBM. This puts the com­pany on track to meet its un­der­ly­ing rev­enue growth tar­get of 3.5%. In­forma also con­firmed that it is on track to make sav­ings of at least £50m in 2019, with more syn­er­gies pen­cilled in.

In­vestors lapped up the news, send­ing shares to the top of the FTSE 100, clos­ing up 18.4p at 710.6p.

Ster­ling, mean­while, took a dive off the back of more Brexit un­cer­tainty and the res­ig­na­tion of Jo John­son from Theresa May’s Gov­ern­ment. Mr John­son – brother of Brexit backer Boris – quit as trans­port min­is­ter and min­is­ter for Lon­don in or­der to vote against the EU di­vorce deal when­ever it comes be­fore Par­lia­ment and called for a sec­ond ref­er­en­dum.

The British cur­rency was down 0.6% ver­sus the US dol­lar at 1.297. Against the euro, the pound was trad­ing down 0.3% at 1.146.

In Eu­rope, Ger­many’s DAX was up a mea­gre 0.02% and France’s CAC was down 0.48%.

The big­gest ris­ers on the FTSE 100 were up 18.4p at 710.6p, up 26p at 1,254p, up 56p at 2,750p and

up 15.7p at 855.7p.

The big­gest fall­ers on the FTSE 100 were down 91p at 1,773.5p, down 39.8p at 778.2p, down 18.2p at 357.8p and down 42p at 861p.

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