- The FTSE 100 rose following a strong performance overseas and a rally in mining stocks on reports Republicans were opposed to US President Donald Trump's tariff threat on steel and aluminium imports.

The S&P 500 closed 1.1% higher at 2,720. Asian equities chased the US higher this morning, led by Hong Kong's Hang Seng, up 2.1% at 30,510.

Back in the UK, miner Anglo American (AAL) gained 3.4% to £17.51 and BHP Billiton (BLT) was up 2.4% at £14.71. Antofagasta (ANTO) rose 2.8% to 887p.

The FTSE 100 traded 1% higher at 7,187 around midday.

Brent crude oil increased 0.3% to $65.75 per barrel. Gold gained 0.2% to $1,321 per ounce and copper climbed 0.7% to $3.13 per pound.


Online delivery platform Just Eat's (JE.) plan to invest in brands, developing markets and delivery services disappointed the market, triggering a 9% slump in the shares to 774.6p.

Packaging company Smurfit Kappa (SKG) rejected a takeover approach from US peer International Paper Company, sparking a 19.8% rally to £30.46.

The takeover offer had a positive read across to UK-listed DS Smith (SMDS) and Mondi (MNDI), which both jumped by up to 4% on the news.

Shares in office space rental group IWG (IWG) retreated 1.1% to 237.5p following a 14% drop in pre-tax profit due to a challenging backdrop, particularly in London.

Trouble in Argentina dragged on temporary power provider Aggreko's (AGK) profitability. The company said discounts and issues in Argentina were behind an 11.8% decline in annual pre-tax profit, causing the stock to slump 8% to 666.4p.

Investors were in profit taking mode at industrial equipment rental specialist Ashtead (AHT), down 4.1% at £19.45. In North America, the company delivered strong growth and third quarter trading met expectations.

Bookie William Hill (WMH) announced it is selling its Australian business for $300m (£168.5m) to CrownBet. Shares in the firm rose 2.5% to 323.8p.

Intertek (ITRK) was up 6.5% at £51.84 after delivering a strong set of full year results and hiking its dividend.

Rotork (ROR) said over 2017 'favourable market conditions' returned and it benefitted from improving order momentum. Investors focused on a 17% drop in pre-tax profit to £80.6m in 2017 as the stock shed 5.9% to 269.2p.


Independent gas and electricity supplier Yu (YU.) enjoyed a record year, driven by substantial increases in sales and profits, sparking the shares 9.4% higher to £13.40.

Margin pressure continued at LED lighting products manufacturer Luceco (LUCE), prompting a profit warning. The company reported it now expects profit after tax of £11m in 2017, down from its forecast £13.2m in December, wiping off a third of its market value.

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