StockMarketWire.com - A slump in the mining sector on lower copper prices dragged the FTSE 100 down 0.8% to 7,548 around midday on a quiet day for corporate news.

Copper cheapened 2.3% to $2.61 per pound and gold shed 0.6% to $1,185 per ounce.

Fresnillo topped the blue-chip fallers, down 4.8% at 926.2p, followed by Antofagasta with a 4.3% fall to 848.2p.

Evraz and Anglo American suffered declines of over 3.3% each.

Brent crude oil dipped 0.7% to $72 per barrel.

UK inflation rose 2.5% in July with rising prices for computer games and transport fares contributing the biggest uplift according to the Office for National Statistics.

House prices in the UK rose 3% year-on-year to an average of £228,000 in June, marking the lowest annual increase since August 2013.

MID AND LARGE CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Pharmaceutical company Hikma rallied 7.6% to £17.72 after smashing expectations in the six months to 30 June, prompting an upgrade in guidance for both its injectables and generics businesses.

There was more good news in the same sector as GlaxoSmithKline announced its HIV drug met the primary endpoint for non-inferiority in its ATLAS study, pushing shares 1.3% higher to £15.80.

Insurer Admiral revealed pre-tax profit rose 9% to £211m in the first half of 2018, driven by a strong performance in the European business. The stock accelerated 3.6% to £20.71.

Construction company Balfour Beatty experienced a drop in sales from £3.43bn the previous year to £3.22bn, but the market overlooked this in favour of a 11% boost in the order book to £12.6bn and a big increase in profit. Shares in Belfour Beatty strengthened 2.3% to 297p.

Riverstone Energy took advantage of favourable market conditions to exit Three Ricers Natural Resources and sell 4.4 million shares in Centennial Resources Development. The company's net asset value per share rose 2.9% in its first half, helping the shares add 1.7% to £12.25.

SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Medical imaging technology firm Feedback soared 19% to 2.1p after receiving its first order via GE Healthcare for its patented images texture analysis technology TexRAD.

Nanotechnology business Nanoco failed to update the market with no new information on profitability, prompting a 9.8% fall to 42.4p.


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