StockMarketWire.com - London's FTSE 100 closed higher on Thursday, despite cable rising and warnings from the Bank of England, while keeping rates on hold at 0.75%, that a further Brexit delay would be bad for the economy and risked hitting sterling. Boosting the blue chip benchmark were Brent-Crude-inspired gains for Royal Dutch Shell and BP and a banking sector bounce.

At 16.35, the benchmark FTSE 100 was 42.37 points or 0.58% higher at 7,356.42.

LARGE AND MID CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Alcoholic drinks giant Diageo shed 1p at £32.69 after it dampened down first half organic growth expectations and cautioned it 'would not be immune' from significant changes in global trade policy.

Retailer Next fell 5.9% to £58.08 amid profit-taking after it saw a 2.7% increase in pre-tax profit in the first six months of the year as strong online sales offset the continued slump in retail and left its full-year guidance unchanged.

JD Sports Fashion gave up 22.6p to trade at 689.8p on the Competition and Markets Authority's (CMA) plan to refer its investigation into the acquisition of Footasylum to a Phase 2 inquiry.

Gulf Keystone Petroleum slipped 2.3% to 230.5p after it confirmed that a gross payment of $14.1m ($11.0m net to Gulf Keystone Petroleum) had been received from the Kurdistan Regional Government for Shaikan crude oil sales during June 2019.

Construction and infrastructure services group Kier improved 0.8p to 132.9p despite poor full year results showing a lurch into loss on flat revenue, as the embattled company insisted it is 'building firm foundations for the future' under new management and highlighted a strong order book.

Saga rallied 13.4% to 51.5p even after it reported that pre-tax profits halved in the first half as the company focused on transforming its business in a tough market.

Tate & Lyle lost 2.8p to trade at 743.6p after agreeing a £930m bulk annuity insurance buy-in with Legal & General Assurance Society for its group pension scheme.

Productivity-enhancing instrumentation and controls company Spectris sparked up 19p to £25.14 after agreeing to sell its BTG Group business to Voith for a total gross cash consideration of €319m.

IG Group jumped 9.6% higher to 634.2p after it performed well in the first quarter benefitting from growth in the number of active clients, and from increased client trading activity as a result of the favourable market conditions in August.

SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Insurance sector services and technology solutions provider Charles Taylor surged 38.3% higher to 325p after recommending a £261m takeover offer from Lovell Minnick, one pitched at a princely 34% premium to yesterday's closing share price.

The City Pub Group dropped 9.2% to 197.5p even after it announced revenue growth in its interim results, up 36% to £27.1m (2018: £20.0m).

EVR Holdings slumped 13.1% to 4.3p as it grew revenue from £6,831 to £128,432, with the loss for the period before taxation growing from £4.4m to £7.1m.

Mongolian oil explorer Petro Matad perked up 4.1% to 5.12p after it said spudding had started at its Gazelle-1 exploration well in eastern Mongolia, a little earlier than previously forecast.

Miner SolGold gained 1.8% to trade at 22.75p after it said that the Ecuador constitutional court had ruled against a petition to seek local consultation to consider the prohibition of mining activities in Southern Ecuador's Azuay province where SolGold's Sharug project is located.

Blackbird, developer and seller of the market-leading cloud video editing platform Blackbird, was bid up 9.8% to 11.25p after it announced that TownNews had again expanded its deployment of Blackbird for the fast production of digital news content in the US.

FW Thorpe was off 3.3% at 292p after it reported a marginal increase in full-year revenue as tough market conditions in the first half offset 'excellent' order recovery in the second half of the year.


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