- The FTSE 100 struggled for direction as gains for oil majors BP (BP.) and Royal Dutch Shell (RDSB) offset weakness in banking and mining stocks.

BP added 1.3% to 570.7p and Shell advanced 1.2% to £26.85.

The blue-chip index was 11 points higher at 7,548 around midday.

Positive US inventories data supported a 0.6% rise in the price of Brent crude oil to $76.81 per barrel.


Sales at Costa Coffee owner Whitbread (WTB) have risen 3.2% in its first quarter to 31 May thanks to further expansion at the coffee chain and hotel chain Premier Inn. The stock gained 2% to £39.70.

Broadcaster ITV (ITV) revealed finance director and chief operating officer Ian Griffiths will retire in the next year, pushing the shares 1.2% lower to 173.8p.

Energy contractor Ultra Electronics (ULE) fell 4.4% to £15.50 amid downgraded first half profit guidance following cost overruns at its Herley unit in the US.

Officer space provider IWG (IWG) warned operating profit is expected to fall short of previous guidance due to its underperforming UK business, prompting investors to mark the stock 3.6% lower to 312.6p.

Distributor Bunzl (BNZL) shed 2.3% to £22.38 on news it slowed to a 'more normal' growth trajectory in the second quarter.


Premier African Minerals (PREM) entered a conditional heads of terms with Cadence Minerals (KDNC) to secure a direct investment for the Zulu project in Zimbabwe of up to $5.1m. The stock soared 74.4% to 0.2p. Cadence Minerals benefitted from a 21.5% uplift to 0.2p.

African airline Fastjet (FJET) warned it may not be able to continue trading and may be suspended from trading on AIM if it could not raise more money, triggering a 69.8% crash to 4.6p.

Digital printing company Xaar (XAR) announced its legacy ceramics division has been performing below expectations in the first five months of its financial year. Shares in Xaar tumbled 14.2% to 235.3p.

Story provided by