StockMarketWire.com - A 1.3% rally in the price of Brent crude lifted shares in oil majors BP (BP.) and Royal Dutch Shell (RDSB).

BP rose 1.8% to 472.8p and Shell was up 1.2% at £22.48. As the companies are among the largest in terms of market cap, they helped the blue-chip index closed 0.3% higher at 7,164.

Copper fell 0.9% to $3.08 per pound and gold declined 0.5% to $1,310 per ounce.

OVERSEAS MARKETS

US equities recovered from their weakness on Thursday, with the S&P 500 rising 0.3% to 2,756 around 4:45pm UK time.

MID AND LARGE CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Housebuilder Berkeley (BKG) disappointed the market after revealing constraints on future growth as it says it cannot boost volumes beyond its current target. Investors marked the shares 5.3% lower to £37.13.

JD Wetherspoon (JDW) unveiled higher profitability and earnings in the first half of its financial year, but the stock fell 6.2% to £12.14 on expected lower sales and higher costs in the second half.

Facilities management business Mitie (MTO) warned cash generation will be hit by higher costs of change and less reliance on invoice discounting, causing the shares to slide 3% to 156.3p.

Electronic trading platform NEX (NEX) soared 30.3% to 874p after confirming that US-based CME has approached it regarding a takeover.

Insurance firm Old Mutual (OML) declined 1.6% to 249p after agreeing to sell its Latin American division to focus on opportunities in sub-Saharan Africa.

Aerospace and defence business Cobham (COB) completed its $455m sales of the AvComm and Wireless test and measurement solutions business to Viavi Solutions. Its shares dipped 1.1% to 129.2p.

SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Real estate investor Clear Leisure (CLP) dropped 13.5% to 0.8p after raising £300,000 in a discounted shares placing.


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