- There was a strong start to the new trading week for markets in Asia, Europe and the US.

China's governing Communist Party has proposed to let Xi Jinping extend his presidency beyond 2023, thereby removing a clause in the constitution which limits presidencies to two five-year terms.

The UK index was propelled by notable gains in mining stocks, closing the day 0.6% higher at 7,289. Anglo American (AAL) rose 3.1% to £18.43; and Fresnillo (FRES) and Rio Tinto (RIO) each made gains of approximately 1.6%.

Brent crude oil advanced 0.6% to $64 per barrel. Gold gained 0.9% to $1,340 per ounce and copper cheapened 0.4% to $3.20 per pound.

And in the US, investors were feeling confident ahead of new Federal Reserve head Jerome Powell's first appearance in front of Congress on Tuesday, helping the S&P rise 0.6% to 2,764 around 4:45pm UK time.


Primark owner Associated British Foods (ABF) was among the biggest risers on the FTSE after announcing profits were expected to be 'well ahead' year-on-year. The stock jumped 3.1% to £27.26.

According to media reports, Provident Financial (PFG) may seek to secure up to £500m in new cash to pay for the fallout from a mis-selling scandal and heal its balance sheet. The reports frustrated the market as the shares dropped 9.2% to 596.1p as investors feared a heavily-discounted fundraise.

A negative broker note from investment bank Berenberg on roadside assistance firm AA (AA.) caused the shares to reverse 12.2% to 75.5p.

Strong trading in North America supported positive half year results at Dechra Pharmaceuticals (DPH), up 2.2% to £23.78. Underlying operating profit rose 22.3% to £47.4m in the second half of 2017.

Investors were pleased with media firm Ascential's (ASCL) half year results after earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation soared by 25% to £119.5m. Shares in the company were marked 5.9% higher to 400.6p.

Outsourcer Bunzl (BNZL) smashed market expectations for full-year sales and pre-tax profit, but the shares dipped 1.8% to £19.75.

Engineer Senior (SNR) was up 2.2% at 291.2p despite a 4% fall in adjusted operating profit last year. The market focused on strong cash flow and a significant cut in debt from £155.3m to approximately £40m.

Insurer Hiscox (HSX) had a difficult year, delivering pre-tax profit of £93.6m in 2017, down from £202.1m in 2016. The shares fell 2.1% to £13.67.


Pathfinder Minerals (PFP) plummeted 37.2% to 0.6p after revealing there was no ongoing settlement negotiation for the return of its mining licenses in Mozambique.

Chariot Oil & Gas (CHAR) put media rumours to rest by confirming it was in advanced stages of raising $15m in new funds to deliver a second well in Namibia. Its shares fell 25.4% to 15.1p.

Reabold Resources (RBD) confirmed it was considering raising funds to exploit further investments, triggering a 11.1% fall to 0.6p.

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