- The FTSE 100 remained in positive territory thanks to gains in the financial services and insurance sectors.

Prudential (PRU) was up 1.3% to £19.43 and Legal & General (LGEN) rose 1.5% to 262.1p.

Insurers Aviva (AV.) and Direct Line (DLG) enjoyed gains of 1.5% each.

The FTSE 100 closed 0.3% higher at 7,154.

Brent crude oil increased 0.2% to $65 per barrel and copper declined 1.2% to $3.10 per pound.


On Wall Street, investors were feeling more upbeat after Trump appointed Larry Kudlow as his new chief economic advisor.

The Dow Jones rose 0.8% to 24,968 around 4:45pm UK time with the S&P 500 making smaller gains.


A profit warning from Imperial Leather owner PZ Cussons (PZC) following difficult trading conditions in Nigeria and the UK caused the shares to crash 16.2% to 231.8p.

Old Mutual (OML) revealed full year results that beat expectations and hiked its dividend, helping its shares advance 1.7% to 214p.

An upgrade from analysts at JP Morgan Cazenove for UK supermarket Tesco (TSCO) lifted the stock 2.9% to 216.5p.

Hikma (HIK) benefitted from a broker upgrade from Citi, pushing the shares 19% higher to £11.05.

Real estate investment trust Hammerson (HMSO) went into reverse after Credit Suisse turned negative on its outlook, dragging the shares 4.8% lower to 434.4p.

Onesavings Bank (OSB) warned that the costs of funds are expected to rise following the end of the Bank of England's Term Funding Scheme. The news overshadowed the bank beating expectations as the stock fell 6.4% to 379.8p.

Financial services group Just Group (JUST) ticked 1.3% higher to 136.8p after operating profit in 2017 smashed expectations thanks to lower costs from the Just Retirement and Partnership Assurance merger.

Higher debt at construction firm Kier (KIE) weighed on sentiment as the shares declined 3.7% to £10.38. Investors focused on rising debt due to investments in the property division instead of increasing sales and pre-tax profits in the second half of 2017.

Cinema chain and popcorn seller Cineworld (CINE) jumped 2.6% to 246.4p, driven by strong sales and profit growth in 2017.

Spirax-Sarco Engineering (SPX) reported decent organic growth and says it plans to accelerate sales and capital investments for growth this year. The stock sparked 6% higher to £60.90.


Port reception facilities provider Nature (NGR) said it received interest from a number of parties concerning the potential acquisition of its maritime and oil and gas operations. The news excited the market as the shares rallied 18.9% to 3.3p.

HaiKe Chemical (HAIK) plummeted 63.6% to 10p on confirmation it will delist from AIM on 20 March.

The resignation of Autins' (AUTG) chief executive officer Michael Jennings triggered a 13.7% slump to 94p.

InterQuest (ITQ) said its 2017 performance was 'slightly behind' its expectations. Investors were spooked by falling profitability and earnings, causing the shares to fall 12.7% to 19.2p.

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