- The FTSE 100 received support from a decline in the pound. Around midday, the FTSE 100 traded 0.2% up at 7,523.

There was also a modest rally in healthcare stocks, led by Mediclinic (MDC), which gained 2.2% to 679p.

NMC Health (NMC) and ConvaTec (CTEC) also rose 1.4% and 0.7%.

Another noticeable rise was British American Tobacco (BATS), which ticked 1.8% higher to £47.89.

Brent crude oil fell 0.4% to $56.75 per barrel.


US markets continued to hit record highs as investors grew excited that a deal on a budget and tax cuts were making good progress.

The Nasdaq enjoyed the biggest rise, up 0.8% to 6,585 overnight.


Budget airline easyJet (EZJ) warned that ticket prices would remain under pressure amid ongoing market capacity growth, causing the shares to retreat 3% to £12.45.

Defence business Ultra Electronics (ULE) announced shareholders at its US acquisition target Spartan approved the $325m takeover. The share price was broadly unmoved at £18.43 despite the takeover helping the company's position as the main supplier of sonobuoys for the US Navy.


Security products provider Chemring (CHG) accelerated 5% to 180p on a cash advance payment associated with a $30m contract to supply 40mm ammunition to an international customer.

Cakes and chocolates developer Finsbury Food (FIF) decided to shut its loss-making Grain D'Or bakery and cautioned its adjusted profit performance will be achieved from a lower-than-expected sales base. Shares in the speciality food business dipped 0.6% to 107.8p.

Car retailer Motorpoint (MOTR) sparked 3.3% to 140p after forecasting a 64% rise in first half profit, driven by an 18% rise in revenue.

There was good news for miner Lonmin (LMI), which received approval from its lending bank to acquire the Pandora joint venture, causing the shares to surge 20.7% to 89.3p.

Bowling operator Hollywood Bowl (BOWL) forecast full-year earnings to be marginally ahead of its forecasts, helping the stock gain 2% to 187.7p.

RWS Holdings (RWS) said revenues were expected to rise 33.6% to £163m in the year to 30 September and forecasted its 'best ever year,' triggering a share price rally of 9.9% to 434p.

A contract win at software solutions provider Mirada (MIRA) excited investors as the stock catapulted 16.3% to 1.2p. The five-year contract with Digital TV Cable was for its Iris multiscreen solution.

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