- Positive industrial output data from China lifted the mining sector, helping the FTSE 100 rise 0.4% to 7,167.

Antofagasta (ANTO) and Anglo American (AAL) enjoyed the biggest gains among the blue-chip miners, jumping by approximately 2.5% apiece.

Glencore (GLEN) was up 1.9% and BHP Billiton (BLT) advanced 1.4%.

Brent crude oil was up 0.7% at $65 per barrel. Copper climbed 1% to $3.15 per pound and gold was stable at $1,325 per ounce.


Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was fired by President Donald Trump, who also said he wanted to impose tariffs of up to $60bn on Chinese imports.

Both US and Asian equities were in the red overnight.


Funeral services provider Dignity (DTY) surged 14.6% to 977.3p after flagging encouraging early signs from its strategy in January to boost its competitiveness. The full year results were in line with expectations in January when the firm delivered a profit warning.

Supermarket Morrisons (MRW) fell 3.5% to 218.4p as operating profit fell from £468m in 2017 to £458m, overshadowing better than expected results and a special dividend.

Insurance company Prudential (PRU) announced it plans to demerge its UK and Europe division M&G Prudential and sell some of its UK annuity portfolio. Investors approved of the strategy, marking the stock 5.8% higher to £19.32.

Hikma (HIK) received a 7.3% boost in the arm to 936.4p, driven by recovering sales growth and a rising dividend.

Balfour Beatty (BBY) more than doubled underlying operating profit to £196m thanks to the Build to Last programme. Shares in the infrastructure group strengthened 3.3% to 286.2p.

Holiday Inn owner InterContinental Hotels (IHG) agreed to acquire a 51% stake in Regent Hotels and Resorts for $39m, in a joint venture with Formosa. Its shares were broadly unmoved at £45.63.


On AIM, litigation finance provider Burford Capital (BUR) surged 28.4% to £14 after its annual results smashed expectations.

Gambling firm Sportech (SPO) suffered a 54.7% crash to 35.2p after it terminated talks to sell the business and revealed a profit warning.

Car seller Marshall Motor (MMH) also delivered better than expected full year results. Investors overlooked concerns over the UK car market in 2018 as the shares accelerated 4.6% to 174.6p. Story provided by