StockMarketWire.com - The FTSE enjoyed a decent start thanks to a strong performance in Asia and stable trading on Wall Street overnight.

Around midday, the blue-chip index traded 0.4% higher at 7,720 thanks to a rally in the mining sector.

Anglo American (AAL) rose 2.4% to £19.03 and Rio Tinto (RIO) added 2.3% at £44.47. Antofagasta (ANTO) and BHP Billiton (BLT) benefitted from smaller gains.

Brent crude oil rose 0.2% to $75.55 per barrel.

MID AND LARGE CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Bookseller WH Smith (SMWH) revealed its third quarter sales were up 4% year-on-year as its travel business helped offset weakness in its high street stores. The stock strengthened 6.4% to £21.02.

Office space provider Workspace (WKP) placed over 16 million shares to raise funds for its growth plan, including further targeted acquisitions in London. Its shares were down 5% at £11.06.

Plastics firm RPC (RPC) warned growth is expected to slow down on negative sentiment surrounding the use of plastics, including proposed measures against the use of single use plastics. Its shares crumpled 13.2% to 671.7p.

SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

A profit and sales warning at automotive insulation solutions supplier Autins (AUTG) toppled its shares by 36.6% to 52p.

Pharma company Oxford BioMedica (OXB) rallied 17% to 846.9p after entering a $842.5m licensing deal with Axovant Sciences for one of its drugs.

Alpha Financial Markets Consulting (AFM) announced adjusted operating profit jumped 65% to £13.6m in the year to 31 March. Its shares rose 6.5% to 205p.

Shares in filtration specialist Porvair (PRV) advanced 4.6% to 540p following sales growth of 8% in the half year to 25 June.


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