FTSE 100 Index weakened by Unilever decline

FTSE 100 index

The FTSE 100 index ended little changed at 7,299.86. The gauge last week gained 0.6%, putting it around a one-month high.

UK stocks finished roughly flat with the main benchmark hamstrung by a big drop in Unilever PLC shares after Kraft Heinz Co. withdrew its bid for the company.

Shares in Unilever PLC closed down 6.6% for the FTSE’s biggest loss after American rival Kraft Heinz Co. dropped its $143 billion offer for the Anglo-Dutch consumer goods giant.

Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC gained 6.8% following news the bank might not sell its Williams & Glyn business. RBS had agreed to the sale during the financial crisis, but it has proved troublesome. The bank’s stock was the FTSE 100’s largest gainer.

The British benchmark is up 2.2% so far this year. It’s 23% higher over the past 12 months.

In the FTSE 250, Bovis Homes Group PLC closed down 10% after the builder warned it expects to construct 10% to 15% fewer homes in the U.K. this year. The midcap index finished 0.2% higher at 18,746.22.

There was no lead from Wall Street with US markets closed for a holiday and relatively narrow ranges prevailed during the afternoon session.

The pound was trading at $1.2462, up from $1.2421 late Friday, as traders tracked debate in the House of Lords over the Brexit bill. The bill would keep the U.K. on course to leave the European Union, and the Lords are expected to offer amendments but not stop the triggering of Article 50, the formal start talks on the withdrawal.

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