(ShareCast News) - London's FTSE 100 was flat at 7,424.87 in afternoon trade as investors digested news that Prime Minister Theresa May will trigger the UK's exit from the European Union next Wednesday.
Primark owner Associated British Foods was on the front foot after Goldman Sachs upped its stance on the stock to 'buy' from 'neutral' and lifted the price target to 3,000p from 2,750p.
Insurers Admiral Group and Direct Line advanced as the change to the Ogden discount rate - which is used to calculate compensation payouts for serious personal injuries - took effect.
Admiral said earlier this month that the change had hit its 2016 earnings by £105m, while Direct Line's full-year profit took a £175m hit.
Last month, the government cut the Ogden discount rate to -0.75% from 2.5%, with Lord Chancellor Liz Truss saying the move reflected the fall in index-linked gilt yields, which are used in the calculation.
Hikma Pharmaceuticals retreated as Bank of America Merrill Lynch downgraded the stock to 'neutral', saying the risk/reward from Advair is balanced.
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