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STOCKS NEWS EUROPE-UK small caps close flat, sharply underperform

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The FTSE Small Cap index closes flat, significantly underperformingstrong gains by both the blue chips and the mid caps , ahead 0.9percent and 0.5 percent respectively.

Sepura gains 3.8 percent after an upbeat first half trading updatefrom the digital communications firm, highlighting new business wins in NorthAmerica.

"The company is performing in line with market full year expectations. Ahealthy order book and robust pipeline of opportunities offers confidence inongoing progress," Liberum Capital says in a note repeating its "buy" rating onSepura.

AFC Energy jumps 13.8 percent, in volumes of more than ten timesits 90-day average, after announcing an equity investment of 8.7 million poundsby Ervington Investments Ltd, whose main stakeholder is Russian billionaireRoman Abramovich.

The funds raised will strengthen AFC Energy's balance sheet and provide itwith additional cash resources to execute its long term growth strategy andinvest in its low cost fuel cell technology, the company said.

Reuters messaging rm://alistair.smout.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net

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