- Inflation was still at its highest level since September 2013 as it remained at 2.3% in March.

Rising prices for essentials such as food, clothing and footwear mainly contributed to the high rate.

Other non-essentials such as alcohol and tobacco also played a role.

The FTSE 250 shrugged off inflation data which could impact a large number of UK domestic stocks and gained 0.5%.

In the FTSE 100, miners enjoyed a welcome boost as commodity prices bounced back from a weaker performance with the exception of iron, which slumped by 2%. The blue-chip index advanced 0.6% to 7,393.

Oil prices were weak with Brent crude oil at $56 per barrel, while gold glittered at $1,255 per ounce.

Copper was stable at $5,732 per tonne.


Investors were cautious in the US as global security risks and further interest rate hikes weighed on sentiment. The Dow Jones and S&P 500 were flat on Monday.

Geopolitical concerns over North Korea's missile programme subdued the majority of Asia's markets, with only China's SSE Composite rallying 0.6% on Tuesday.


JD Sports Fashion (JD.) sprinted 12% higher to 455p on record final results for year to 28 January 2017. Revenues at JD Sports were up 31% on a year-on-year basis with profit before tax climbing an impressive 81% to £238.4m.


Bank notes manufacturer De La Rue (DLAR) expected its full year underlying operating profit to be above the top end of the market consensus and sparked a share price jump of 8% to 669p.

Total Film magazine publisher Future's (FUTR) half year trading update failed to excite as its shares nudged higher to 183.5p despite the firm's acquisition of Imaging Publishing.

Recruiter Robert Walters (RWA) advanced 2.7% to 443p its results for the first quarter of 2017 revealed gross profit up by 33% year-on-year.

Surveillance systems designer Synectics (SNX) was in the spotlight after winning a multi-million dollar contract to supply an integrated video and security management solution to a Philippines casino. Investors were feeling lucky as they marked the stock 10.7% higher at 224.2p.

An option agreement to acquire three lithium exploration projects pushed Arian Silver (AGQ) 36% higher to 1p. The business entered the agreement with Mexican subsidiary Arian Mexico.

Iofina (IOF) said it performed well in its first quarter despite various challenges. Management said it would benefit from pricing and demand for iodine-based goods. The stock rallied 9.4% to 10.4p.

Applied Graphene (AGM) slipped 6.7% in the opposite direction despite narrowing its first-half pre-tax loss to £2.1m, from a loss of £2.3m.

Exploration firm Ironveld (IRON) impressed the market with two non-binding memorandum of understanding agreements. The deals were with Siyanda Inkwali Smelting Services to acquire a 100% interest in Siyanda Smelting and Refining, as well as a purchase agreement to acquire a 70% stake in Power Alt.

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