STOCKS NEWS EUROPE-UK small caps steady early on

The FTSE Small Cap index is flat in early deals, outperforming a 0.2 percent retreat on the FTSE 100 , while the mid caps rise 0.1 percent.

British clean technology company Ceres Power Holdings said it may have to wind down operations after failing to secure the funds it needs to run its business, sending its stock down as much as 76 percent.

"It's disappointing but not a total surprise," Peel Hunt analyst Andrew Shepherd-Barron says. "Investors have chosen not to back it ... our most likely scenario is an orderly wind down."

Phoenix IT falls 1.9 percent after announcing that David Courtley, the chief executive officer of the company, has resigned. The company says the resignation is not related to the ongoing accounting investigation.

The firm says Peter Bertram, who is currently Non-Executive Chairman, will become Executive Chairman.

"The appointment of Mr Bertram as Executive Chairman indicates to us that Phoenix IT is now for sale. There has long been a community of buyers for IT infrastructure service companies - they might be the lower rungs of the IT industry but they offer customer touch, managed services and are cheap," Panmure Gordon says in a note.

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