UPDATE 1-Pound pummels FTSE, results roil mid caps

Reuters

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    * FTSE 100 down 1.1 pct at close; mid caps down 1.3
    * Dollar drop helps sterling after Trump fires Tillerson
    * Greencore plunges after co cuts guidance

 (Recasts, adds quote and detail, updates prices at close)
    By Danilo Masoni and Kit Rees
    LONDON/MILAN, March 13 (Reuters) - Britain's top share index
succumbed to gains in the pound on Tuesday after U.S. President
Donald Trump fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, while
disappointing earnings updates weighed on mid caps.
    The FTSE  .FTSE  ended down 1.1 percent at 7,138.78 points,
while the mid cap index  .FTMC  fell 1.3 percent.
    Trump replaced Tillerson with loyalist CIA Director Mike
Pompeo which, together with U.S. inflation data, weighed on the
dollar.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL1N1QV0JE  
    That boosted sterling to a two-week high, hitting the FTSE's
international earners, in particular big consumer staples.
    "Rex Tillerson being replaced by the director of the CIA,
that's come as a shock to the market and it's sent cable higher
which has suppressed the FTSE 100 throughout the day," Jasper
Reimers, senior analyst at Vertex Capital Group, said.
    "Rex Tillerson was the mediator in a lot of foreign policy
issues, so with him now out of the picture, it looks as though
Trump's agenda might be far easier to drive in."
    A half-yearly update on Britain's economy from finance
minister Philip Hammond also helped keep the pound firm as he
raised his growth forecasts slightly.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL8N1QV4L3  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL8N1QV1CF 
    Mid cap Greencore's  GNC.L  shares plunged after the food
manufacturer cut its 2018 profit guidance due to issues at its
US business.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nFWN1QU18F
    Investec placed its forecasts and price target under review,
noting that even though commercial developments gave the group
confidence that the financial performance will improve through
into 2019, this was later than management had expected.
    Greencore  GNC.L  was down more than 30 percent, the biggest
faller among mid caps and the stock's biggest one-day loss ever.
    Still among mid caps, TC ICAP  TCAPI.L  fell 10.5 percent
after annual profits at the world's largest interdealer broker
fell short of analyst expectations. 
    "We believe various additional costs associated with MiFID
II and ongoing investment account for the shortfall," Liberum
said in a note.
    On the FTSE, Antofagasta  ANTO.L  rose 3 percent following a
well-received trading update.
    The Chilean miner reported a sharp rise in full-year
earnings thanks to higher copper prices and said it would raise
its dividend 177 percent.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL8N1QV1BN
    Tonic water maker Fevertree Drinks  FEVR.L  fell 3.6 percent
after hitting a record high in the previous session as a 64
percent jump in full-year core earnings failed to excite
investors.  
    

 (Reporting by Danilo Masoni and Kit Rees; editing by John
Stonestreet)
 ((kit.rees@thomsonreuters.com; +44 207 542 2784;))
 
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