- Stronger commodity prices, including a 2.5% jump in the price of copper to $6,525 per tonne, kept the mining rally going throughout the day.

One of the largest international copper producing firms in the sector, Antofagasta (ANTO), sparked 3.3% higher to 948.5p.

Shares in Glencore (GLEN) and Anglo American (AAL) also enjoyed a lift, up 3.7% to 342.8p and 3.4% to £12.91, respectively.

The FTSE 100 surged on the support and closed 0.7% higher at 7,433.

In the UK, the unemployment rate fell to 4.4%, down from 4.9% a year earlier - marking the lowest unemployment rate since 1975, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Brent crude oil was flat at $50.73 per barrel.


Insurer Admiral (ADM) said it was hit by extra costs from large injury claims thanks to the change in the Ogden rate. Investors were disappointed with this and a marginal 2% increase in pre-tax profits to £193m in the first half of 2017, dragging the stock 5.4% lower to £20.53.

Prudential (PRU) sold its US independent broker-dealer network to LPL Financial for at least $325m, but this failed to move the share price much at £18.22.


Among the mid-caps, Balfour Beatty (BBY) was a winner after it announced underlying profit from operations rose more than tripled from £11m in the first half of 2016 to £39m over the same period this year. Shares in the infrastructure group surged 6.6% to 279.7p.

This was not the case for Hochschild Mining's (HOC) after its pre-tax profits plummeted to $39.9m in the six months to the end of June, down from $60.3m. The market was spooked by the drop, marking the stock 19.2% to 265.1p.

Elsewhere, potash developer Sirius Minerals (SXX) said its operating loss widened from £4.7m to £14.7m in the first half of the year, driven by more activity following the completion of stage one financing. Shares in the firm advanced 2.6% to 27.8p.

Property investment company CLS (CLI) reported strong first half results, supported by valuation gains across all regions and the sale of Vauxhall Square for £144.1m at a 39% premium to book value. The news pushed the stock 2.6% higher to 219.9p.


A profit warning from Epwin (EPWN) triggered a sell-off, prompting the share price to crash 16% to 79.2p. The company cautioned that full year results would be marginally below market expectations due to challenging renovation, maintenance and improvement industry conditions and higher material costs.

Motor retail group Lookers (LOOK) reversed 9.2% to 106.1p as its pre-tax profit fell to £44.6m in the first half, down from £46.7m the year before.

Quarto (QRT) ended takeover discussions with an anonymous bidder by mutual agreement, which caused the stock to drop 19.5% to 125.5p.

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