- Weaker sterling and a rally in the mining sector bode well for the FTSE 100, up 0.8% at 7,453.

Investors remained wary over whether UK Prime Minister Theresa May would be able to deliver good trade conditions in the next round of Brexit negotiations.

The underperforming pound boosted blue-chip companies as the majority generate the bulk of their earnings overseas.

In the mining sector, Antofagasta (ANTO) jumped 2.2% to 913.5p and BHP Billiton (BLT) was also up 2.3% to £13.72.

Brent crude oil rallied 1.8% to $64.57 per barrel and copper climbed 1.3% to $2.99 per tonne.


Media reports that Walt Disney was in the final stages of finalising the acquisition of Twenty-First Century Fox's film and TV production assets helped keep the Dow Jones in positive territory.

Shares in Disney moved 1.7% higher around 4:45pm UK time.


A £5bn contract win at BAE Systems (BA.) to supply Typhoon fighter jets to Qatar failed to fuel the share price at 557p.

Investment bank Investec (INVP) reported it has 'immaterial exposure to South African retail firm Steinhoff, which suffered a huge sell-off on accusations of fraudulent transactions. Steinhoff acquired discounter Poundland for £610m in September 2016. Investors were reassured by the update, marking the stock 2.6% higher to 473.2p.

Contractor Babcock (BAB) reported that new accounting standards would not have a material impact on the firm, prompting a relief rise of 2% to 675p.

Thread manufacturer Coats Group (COA) acquired US yarn manufacturer Patrick Yarn Mill for up to $25m, but the stock barely moved at 86p.

British Gas owner Centrica (CNA) fell 1.8% to 141.5p despite launching its Spirit Energy oil and gas joint venture with Bayerngas Norge.

Morgan Advanced Materials (MGAM) announced it boosted its US defined benefits pension scheme, causing the shares to increase 1.6% to 325p.

Scottish Investment Trust (SCIN) recommended a bigger dividend hike than anticipated, driven by its strong performance, but said future special dividends were not guaranteed. The shares were up on 0.5% at 854p on the news.


It was a strike from bowling alley operator Hollywood Bowl (BOWL) thanks to a 54.4% jump in operating profit and 8.8% rise in sales, helping the stock rally 6.8% to 203p.

EnQuest (ENQ) announced chief operating officer Neil McCulloch was stepping down 'by mutual agreement.' The market took the news well as the shares accelerated 3.4% to 26.1p.

Photo booth specialist Photo-Me (PHTM) failed to gain positive momentum despite higher sales in its laundry services division pushing profit higher in the half year to 31 October. The shares declined 5.6% to 176.5p.

AorTech (AOR) resolved litigation with its former chief executive and delivered a profit of $32,000, up from a loss of $109,000 last year. Shares in the polymer tech specialist more than doubled to 60p.

Cell therapy specialist Oxford BioMedica (OXB) was up 3.2% at 9.2p as its partner Novartis announced encouraging initial results from a trial of Kymriah therapy in the treatment of a difficult to treat cancer.

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