- Mining stocks continued to be popular this week, led higher by decent production figures from Rio Tinto (RIO).

Rio Tinto unveiled mostly positive production rates in its first quarter, pushing the stock 3.4% higher to £39.05.

Evraz (EVR) followed this move higher with a 2.8% gain to 400.3p. Glencore (GLEN) and Anglo American (AAL) made smaller jumps of at least 3.3% each.

The FTSE traded 0.79% higher at 7,283 around midday.

UK inflation fell from 2.7% in February to 2.5% in March according to the Office for National Statistics.

Brent crude oil jumped 1.1% to $72.30 per barrel.


Wall Street continued its positive momentum overnight with the S&P 500 closing 1.1% higher at 2,706.


Shopping centre investor Hammerson (HMSO) pulled out of a deal to purchase its rival Intu Properties (INTU), lifting shares in Hammerson by 3% to 508.2p.

Hochschild (HOC) fared well after reporting a record first quarter for silver production despite an annual stoppage at its San Jose operation. Shares in the firm strengthened 8.9% to 217.8p.

Polymetal (POLY) reported that strong performance at its Albazino, Varvara and Svetloye mines offset a grade-driven decline at Omolon, causing the shares to rise 11.2% to 693.4p.

Energy services business Hunting (HTG) rallied 5.8% to 779p after announcing a solid update for the the three months to 31 March.

Private hospital group Mediclinic (MDC) received a 5.7% shot to 660.5p on the news it expects its annual results to be 'marginally ahead' of expectations. The company also revealed a 'significant' second half improvement in its Middle East division.

Funeral services provider Dignity (DTY) soared 16% to £10.82 following a jump in sales by £2m to £95m and profits were flat, but ahead of the Board's expectations.


Shares in Animalcare (ANCR) crashed 20.9% to 211.6p after warning that earnings will miss market expectations in 2018. The animal health products supplier blamed the impact of gross margins from a changing sales mix and intense competition.

Housebuilder Countryside Properties (CSP) revealed completions rose 15% in the six months to 31 March and net cash of £13.7m, an improvement from the previous net debt position of £35m.

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