StockMarketWire.com - Oil prices continued to rise above $50 a barrel and this was the cue for a rally in major markets with a slump in metal prices not proving too much of a drag.

The FTSE 100 closed 0.07% higher at 6,277.64 and the FTSE 250 was stable at 17,182.16.

West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil rose 0.8% to $50.12 and Brent crude oil advanced 1.1% to $51.12 per barrel, respectively.

Gold fell 0.36% to $1,240.10 per ounce and copper declined over 3% to $4,519.55 per tonne.

MAIN NEWS OF THE DAY

Sports retailer Sports Direct (SPD) advanced 5.5% to 383.5p after executive deputy chairman Mike Ashley gave evidence to MPs regarding working practices at the company. Investors perhaps relieved at the lack of negative guidance on trading.

US productivity in the non-farm business sector declined at a 0.6% annual rate and unit labour costs rose 4.5% in the first quarter of 2016, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

MID CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Money broker Tullett Prebon (TLPR) said the Competition and Markets Authority was concerned about the broking of oil products in a review of the proposed acquisition of ICAP's information business. This sparked concern among investors as the shares slipped 3.5% to 313.9p.

SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Multi-commodity resources company Herencia (HER) secured up to $150,000 funding from two shareholders, boosting shares 12.7% to 0.03p.

SyQic (SYQ) fell 8% to 16.9p as the deadline for chief executive Jamal Hassim and MMV Investments to announce a firm intention to make an offer on for the company was pushed from today to 21 June.

Plastics specialist parts Carclo (CAR) swung into profit as a result of strong sales across its businesses and a second consecutive year of double-digit growth, nudging shares up 5% to 162.5p.

Independent energy provider Fulcrum Utility Services (FCRM) nearly increased its pre-tax profit seven-fold, although this was thanks to declining costs instead of sales growth. The shares were hit by profit taking following a strong run this year, down 4.3% to 40.9p.

Residential lettings agency Belvoir (BLV) agreed to buy Northwood GB for £22m, which will make Belvoir the UK's largest property franchiser, pushing shares 4.3% up to 122p.

Construction firm Mountfield (MOGP) moved back into profit as its Connaught Access Flooring business drove revenue and profits, causing shares to rise 3.3% to 1.4p.

Data management services provider Vianet (VNET) reported higher revenues, but lower pre-tax profits and an unchanged full year dividend for the year to 31 March, triggering a drop of 7.3% to 95p.

Technical consultancy WYG (WYG) said its revenue and pre-tax profit rose and hiked its dividend and announced a change in finance director. Shares fell 4% to 136.6p.

Architect practice Aukett Swanke (AUK) revealed its revenue rose and pre-tax profits fell, resulting in a lower dividend, which the company blamed on uncertainty linked to the upcoming EU referendum. Shares plummeted 17% to 5.18p.

Brain health firm IXICO (IXI) slipped 3.8% to 38p after its total income remained static and its operating losses rose in the six months to 31 March.

Plastic additives specialist Symphony Environmental (SYM) signed a three-year agreement with Pakistan International Airways to convert its normal packaging into biodegradable plastic, boosting shares 4.8% to 6.1p.

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