- FTSE 100 punched up to a fresh closing high in a session that saw hearty gains among miners on hopes of greater monetary stimulus from the People's Bank of China, while oil stocks followed crude prices higher. Wall St opened firmer after a raft of economic data.

FTSE 100 closed up 21.52 points, or 0.3%, to 7096.78, a fresh closing high. FTSE 250 added 14.72, or 0.08%, to 17,873.5 and was just below its previous record level. At 4.42pm, WTI crude was up 3.3% to $55.05/bbl. Brent rose 1.95% to $59.57/bbl. Greece debt, Yemen fighting and Iran nuclear talks remained drags.

Tullow Oil (TLW), up 8.74% to 400.8p, was one of several big oily stocks benefitting from rising crude, and a broker upgrade. Cairn Energy (CNE), Shell (RDSA) and Wood Group (WG.) followed. Miners were piloted by Kaz Minerals (KAZ), up 4.18% to 239.4p, with Lonmin (LMI) and Glencore (GLEN) behind. Fresnillo (FRES), up 3.04% to 744.5p, reported improved silver output.

Several retail-related issues rose as investors spied value buys, but some eased on profit taking this afternoon. Sainsbury (SBRY) led the pack with a 3.53% surge to 284.7p, while Morrisons (MRW) and Tesco (TSCO) trailed. Next (NXT) gained, as did Burberry (BRBY), up 2.52% to 1829p, on a robust H2 performance.

Among utilities lower was Severn Trent (SVT), off 1.38% to 2142p, followed further back by National Grid (NG.), SSE (SSE) and United Utilities (UU.) on concerns of a sooner than expected hike in US interest rates. A number of commercial property stocks lost ground, and financials figured on both the risers' and fallers' ladders.


Daniel Stewart Securities (DAN), up 34.21% to 1.28p, expects to report a FY pretax and amortisation loss of about £850,000, against £1.46m last time. DJI Holdings (DJI), down 11.21% to 51.5p, expects its FY results to fall below market expectations. Adjusted operating EBITDA for Q4 is seen materially lower than anticipated.

Asian Citrus (ACHL), down 23.88% to 6.38p, has warned its winter harvest will be hit following an outbreak of Huanglongbing -- also known as citrus greening disease -- at its Xinfeng Plantation. About 18% of the plantation was affected.

Omega Diagnostics (ODX), up 18.45% to 15.25p, said results for the year to 31 March 2015 will be in line with market expectations. ZincOx (ZOX), down 8.64% to 9.25p, has widened its FY pretax loss to $33.2m, from $26.3m. Revenue was $38.2m, from $27.5m.

Matomy Media (MTMY), down 12.75% to 174.5p, has acquired a strategic investment in performance email marketing and ad targeting company Maven Marketing Group, which operates as Avenlo. Matomy has nabbed a 70% stake, with an option to acquire the remainder over three years. ECONOMIC NEWS

Stateside, builder confidence in the market for newly built, single-family homes rose four points in April to 56 on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index released today.

US industrial production fell 0.6% in March, after rising 0.1% in February, US Federal Reserve said. For Q1 2015, industrial production declined at an annual rate of 1.0%, the first quarterly decrease since the second quarter of 2009. US capacity utilisation for the industrial sector slipped 0.6 percentage point in March to 78.4%.

The US Federal Reserve Bank of New York's Empire State Manufacturing Index turned negative for the first time since December, falling eight points to -1.2.

Euro zone's trade balance surplus was 20.3bn euros in February, against 14.4bn euros a year earlier. The trade balance surplus was 7.9bn euros in January. German consumer-price inflation (CPI) rose 0.3% on the year in March, up from 0.1% in February. French consumer-price inflation rose 0.7% in March, from a 0.7% rise in February.


Distil (DIS) said one of the largest supermarket retailers in the UK has listed RedLeg Spiced Rum for its stores throughout the UK. Its shares rose 11.76% to 0.95p. LED International Holdings (LED), down 5.88% to 80p, noted the recent rise in its share price and said it knew of no reason that 'would lead to such a movement.'

JD Sports Fashion (JD.), up 4.71% to 533.5p, unveiled record FY results with pretax profits of £90.5m, up 18% up on the year. Revneues rose 25% to £1.5bn and operating profits before exceptional items increased 23% to £102.2m. Total dividends was 7.05p, up 4.1%.

CPPGroup (CPP), up 3.37% to 4.75p, intends to appoint Stephen Callaghan as its interim CEO, once regulatory approval was obtained. Eric Anstee would revert to non-executive chairman, and the search for a permanent CEO would continue.

Walker Greenbank (WGB), up 2.12% to 193p, has improved its FY pretax profit to £6.3m, from £5.5m. Revenue was £83.4m, from £78.4m. Its final dividend rose 24.8% to 1.96p a share, taking the total up 24.9% to 2.31p.

Motif Bio (MTFB), down 3.39% to 28.5p, and Amphion (AMP), down 2.13% to 5.75p, said the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has agreed to the proposed Phase 3 clinical development programme for the Company's lead product candidate, iclaprim.

Dixons Carphone (DC.), up 1.04% to 441.05p, has agreed to sell The Phone House Deutschland GmbH to Drillisch, a leading mobile virtual network operator in Germany. Tracsis' (TRCS), down 4.03% to 392.5p, H1 pretax profit flew up 13% to £2.5m, from £2.3m. Revenue rose 22% t £12.0m, from £9.8m. Interim dividend was 0.4p a share, up 14% on the year.

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