- Healthcare firms and miners were among the top risers on the blue-chip index, which closed 0.6% higher at 7,340.

AstraZeneca (AZN), Shire (SHP) and ConvaTec (CTEC) gained at least 1.5%, while Glencore and BHP Billiton (BLT) advanced 2%.

Sales figures from the British Retail Consortium for April showed year-on-year growth of 5.6% as the Easter holidays provided a welcome boost, expectations were for a 0.5% increase.

Brent crude oil was 0.8% lower at $49 per barrel and gold decreased 0.5% to $1,218 per ounce.

Copper was up 0.3% to $5,489 per tonne.


On Tuesday, the S&P 500 initially opened at a record high as investors responded to a strong corporate earnings season.

In Asia, the markets were largely directionless overnight as only the Hang Seng in Hong Kong rallied 1.3% on Tuesday.


Software business Micro Focus International (MCRO) fell 5.5% to £24.94 as it reported a 10% drop in quarterly revenue from Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, the US company it said it is in the process of buying. The company agreed the $8.8bn takeover in September 2016.


Bookie William Hill (WMH) enjoyed a solid start to the year as it reported trading is in line with expectations for 2017, although this failed to move the shares much at 301.7p.

Payment processor Paysafe (PAYS) ticked 0.8% higher thanks to its continued in line performance. It also reiterated its full year 2017 guidance of low double-digit organic revenue growth.


UK Oil & Gas Investments (UKOG) confirmed it was meeting with new institutional investors to fund its growth strategy. The company said it needed a minimum of £6.5m, sending the stock 15% lower to 1p.

Consultancy Waterman (WTM) recommended a 140p a share cash offer from CTI Engineering, which valued Waterman at approximately £43m.

Online musical instruments retailer Gear4music (G4M) were hitting the right notes as full year underlying operating profits rose 192% to £2.6m. The stock advanced 4% to 622.9p.

Myanmar-based mobile app developer MySquar (MYSQ) soared 45.7% to 4.1p after confirming significant progress in achieving its monetisation targets. Average daily revenue reached $5,000 during the first week of May 2017, up from an average of $3,900 in April 2017.

Digital radio products provider Sepura (SEPU) said the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy proposed to accept statutory undertakings set out by parties involved in the company's acquisition by Hytera Communications, effectively giving the green light to the deal. This would be subject to the outcome of public consultation that closes on 10 May.

Mayan Energy (MYN) fell 18.5% to 1p after announcing encouraging progress in connection with its LM 13 Shallow-Well (LM13) programme. It had also concluded negotiations with a major creditor settling its obligations at a considerable discount.

Troubled collectables firm Stanley Gibbons (SGI), down 9.8% to 8p, announced the sale of a major part of its Interiors division. The proceeds will be used to pay down debt.

RedstoneConnect (REDS) agreed to acquire Easter Road Holdings and its subsidiary, Anders + Kern UK for £1.4m. It also proposed to raise £6.5m through a share placing and launched a one-for-100 share consolidation.

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