FTSE dragged lower by mining stocks
London's main benchmark regained poise, in the wake of posting its biggest one-day loss since the summer in the previous session Reuters

Blue chip shares regained their poise in afternoon trading, in the wake of posting their biggest one-day loss since the summer in the previous session.

The FTSE 100 Index lifted 10.6 points to 7231, after falling by more than 100 points yesterday (17 January), following a keynote speech by British Prime Minister Theresa May in which she promised to pull out of the European Union's Single Market.

The 106.8 fall was the biggest one-day decline since 27 June.

The top flight was dominated by education group Pearson, which saw its shares dive to their biggest one-day fall in a decade, after issuing its fifth profit warning in four years and outlining plans to sell its stake in publisher Penguin Random House.

The FTSE 100 business blamed "an unprecedented decline" in its US higher education coursework business, as it cut its dividend for 2017 and scrapped profit guidance for the following year.

Pearson said it plans to sell its 47% stake in the renowned book publisher and will now enter negotiations with joint venture partner and German media group Bertelsmann who said it was "open" to increasing its share in the company.

CMC Markets chief market analyst Michael Hewson said Pearson's decision to focus on its struggling education unit, while selling the powerhouse publisher has "all the hallmarks of selling the family silver to buy yourself some time".

Pearson shares slumped more than 28%, or 231p to 577p.

The FTSE 250 edged up 8.6 points to 18249.6.

The biggest risers in the FTSE 100 Index were Burberry Group (+47p to 1640p), Antofagasta (+18.5p to 739.5p), Wolseley (+99p to 4965p), Hikma Pharmaceuticals (+34p to 1948p) and TUI (+19p to 1126p).

The biggest fallers in the FTSE 100 Index were Pearson (-231p to 577p), Smurfit Kappa (-49p to 2061p), Capita (-11.5p to 506p), Experian (-30p to 1548p) and Sage Group (-12.5p to 647p).

The biggest risers in the FTSE 250 Index were Ferrexpo (+6.9p to 132p), Evraz (+9p to 228.4p), IP Group (+7p to 181.5p), Ladbrokes Coral Group (+4.8p to 129.3p) and Spectris (+82p to 2490p).

The biggest fallers in the FTSE 250 Index were Mitie (-15.1p to 190.4p), Inmarsat (-38p to 667p), Fidessa Group (-77p to 2231p), N Brown (-7p to 202.7p) and Ashmore Group (-7.2p to 295.2p).