StockMarketWire.com - The FTSE 100 struggled as miners continued to underperform on weaker copper prices, leaving the blue-chip index trading 0.6% lower at 7,516 around midday.

Fresnillo fell 1.5% to 920.4p, while BHP Billiton and Anglo American experienced smaller losses.

Brent crude oil rose 0.7% to $77.71 per barrel and copper fell 0.8% to $2.69 per pound.

MID AND LARGE CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Newsagent WH Smith continued to perform well in its travel division and was confident of future opportunities in the travel market, prompting investors to mark the shares 1.7% higher to £20.88.

Recruiter Hays reported only 2% growth in its UK and Ireland division amid an uncertain market, causing the stock to slide 4.2% to 194.2p. Investors overlooked growing pre-tax profits and a special dividend as the UK and Ireland represents a quarter of the overall business.

Energy services firm Hunting managed to deliver an underlying profit of $53.5m, up from a $9.3m loss last year. Shares in the company rallied 13.3% to 859.9p.

SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Inkjet tech business Xaar plummeted 28.9% to 174.8p on the news that trading continues to be below the levels anticipated by the board amid an 'aggressive' decline in ceramics. In a double whammy of bad news, the reception of Xaar's new products was 'significantly' slower than expected.

Half of butcher Crawshaw's market value was wiped off following a warning that full year sales will be flat.

Anglo African Agriculture soared 60% to 0.8p on a two-year loan to help fund the growth of marine logistics group Comarco in Kenya.

Guarantor loans company Amigo shed 6% to 263.1p with investors clearly expecting better results than the 31% jump in pre-tax profits in the quarter to 30 June.

Shares in tool and equipment hire specialist HSS Hire gained 5.4% to 29.2p after making significant progress with its turnaround strategy by boosting sales and cutting debt.


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