- It was a decent start to the week for the FTSE 100 as rising miners, banks and oil majors offset the impact of a stronger pound.

Markets reacted with cautious optimism on news of trade talks between China and the US.

Fresnillo (FRES) gained 5.7% to £12.77 after an upgrade from Goldman Sachs. The miner was followed by Randgold Resources (RSS), up 2% at £60.52.

High street banks Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and Barclays (BARC) enjoyed gains of up to 2.3% each.

Other notable risers included oil majors BP (BP.) and Royal Dutch Shell (RDSB).

The FTSE 100 traded 0.3% higher at 6,940 around midday.

Brent crude oil slipped 0.3% to $70.23 per barrel. Copper cheapened 1.3% to $2.95 per pound and gold was down 0.3% at $1,345 per ounce.


M&A activity dominated the news today, starting with packaging firm Smurfit Kappa's (SKG) rejection of a higher takeover offer from US rival International Paper to the tune of €9bn. Its shares were down 4.2% at £29.28.

Engineer GKN (GKN) was flat at 431.1p despite retracting statements over the weekend that it had the support of shareholders to push back on a hostile bid from turnaround specialist Melrose. US-based Dana increased its offer by £100m to buy GKN's driveline business.

JD Sports (JD.) sprinted 1% to 359.3p after announcing it will buy US trainer franchise The Finish Line for approximately £400m. Investors were excited as the deal should boost JD's presence across the Atlantic.

Car dealer Inchcape (INCH) reported the $284m acquisition of Central American distributor Grupo Rudelman, helping the stock accelerate 2.4% to 688p.


On AIM, investment group Shore Capital (SGR) ticked 8.6% higher to 266p after adjusted pre-tax profit jumped 27.5% to 6.5p and its dividend was hiked from 5p to 10p in 2017.

Restore (RST) revealed a £51.5m placing to fund the acquisition of record management specialist TNT Business Solutions for £88m. Shares in the office services provider rose 8.5% to 512p.

Equipment hire business Speedy Hire (SDY) said adjusted pre-tax profit will beat expectations in the year to 31 March 2018, prompting the shares to rally 9.7% to 53p.

IT solutions provider Instem (INS) sealed a contract extension to over $0.5m with an additional $0.5m contract award. The news sparked a 19.9% jump in the shares to 226p.

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