StockMarketWire.com - Unrest in the Middle East sparked a rally in the price of Brent crude oil, up 1.4% to $58 per barrel.

The stronger oil price was matched by stronger copper prices which climbed 2.6% to $3.20 per pound, pushing miners such as Antofagasta (ANTO), BHP Billiton (BLT) and Rio Tinto (RIO) higher.

Despite the rally in the mining sector, the FTSE was flat at 7,543 around midday.

MID AND LARGE CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Woundcare specialist ConvaTec (CTEC) plummeted 21% to 220.6p after reducing full year revenue forecasts due to ongoing supply disruptions.

The company said its performance was severely impacted by supply issues in its advanced wound and ostomy care divisions, as well as a lower-than-anticipated sales contribution from new products.

Shares in GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) were flat at £15.17 despite the approval of its vaccine Shingrix in Canada for the prevention of shingles in people over the age of 50.

Electronic trading firm NEX (NXG) was resilient at 657p following divisional CEO Jenny Knott's decision to stand down after a recent profit warning.

In the mining sector, Polymetal International (POLY) traded 1.6% higher at 910p on a 26% rise in third-quarter output, driven by an expansion of processing capacity in Russia.

SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

It was a bad start to the week for waste specialist Augean (AUG) thanks to a management shake-up to cut costs and profit warning for both 2017 and 2018. Augean blamed weaker trading and further uncertainty over its tax status for the underwhelming trading. The stock fell 11.3% to 24.1p.

Shares in banknote authentication company Spectra Systems (SPSY) went in the opposite direction, up 8% to 88p thanks to news that profit will significantly exceed profit expectations. This was due to royalties from printed notes containing its materials reaching a record level in 2017.

Meat packing group Hilton Food (HFD) announced it would proceed with expansionplans in New Zealand through a $54m investment in new processing facilities, but this failed to boost the stock at 792p.

Positive test work and the discovery of a new deposit by Sunrise Resources (SRES) excited the market, triggering a share price rally of 23.5% to 0.1p.

Low & Bonar (LWB) warned the expected improvement in financial performance and anticipated material reduction in inventory level in the second half of the year would not be achieved. The performance materials group blamed challenging market conditions in its civil engineering business and subdued demand, prompting the shares to fall 17.1% to 66p.

Electronic products manufacturer Acal (ACL) pleased the market when it revealed that full-year earnings are anticipated to beat previous forecasts, helping to boost the share price by 5.2% to 330.1p.


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