FTSE 100 lower as Smiths Group falls


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The UK market opened lower with shares in Smiths Group dropping despite the engineering group reporting a rise in annual profits.

Smiths reported a 17% rise in profit to £528m for the year to 31 July, but its shares were down 4.4% in early trade.

That made the company the biggest faller on the FTSE 100, with the UK’s benchmark share index down 18.64 points at 7,245.26.

Mining shares also weighed on the index, with BHP Billiton down 2.2%.

After jumping more than 14% on Thursday, shares in Johnson Matthey continued to rise, climbing a further 2%. Investors had cheered the company confirming its full-year sales guidance and the announcement of a £200m fund to invest in battery technology so it can benefit from the growth in electric cars.

On the currency markets, the pound edged up slightly against the dollar to $1.3589 but fell 0.4% against the euro to 1.1330 euros.

Markets will be keeping a close eye on Theresa May’s speech in Florence later where she is expected to set out plans for a transition period after Brexit.



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