- The FTSE 100 advanced 0.4% to 7,736 despite some disappointing results from blue-chip companies, including Centrica.

Among the risers was miner Fresnillo, up 3% at £10.27 and oil giant Royal Dutch Shell added 1.1% to £26.77 following positive results at rival BP.

Insurance companies were among the winners with Admiral accelerating 2.7% to £19.55 and Direct Line rising 2% to 339.9p.

Airlines also received a boost following a hike in ticket price forecasts by sector bellwether Lufthansa.

Brent crude oil slipped 0.3% to $74.74 per barrel and copper cheapened 0.3% to $2.77 per pound. Gold was down 0.4% to $1,216 per ounce.


Oil major BP smashed second quarter profit forecasts and hiked its dividend for the first time in four years as higher oil prices provided a trading boost. Despite the good news, the shares were flat at 570p.

Builders' merchant Travis Perkins warned profitability at DIY store chain Wickes will be lower than expected as people are buying less in a competitive environment, dragging the stock 10.4% lower to £12.01.

British Gas owner Centrica dimmed 2.6% to 148.7p after unveiling a drop in profitability as more customers switched to its rivals.

Thomas Cook suffered a setback as the recent global heatwave is expected to hit late holiday bookings with full year profits expected to come in at the lower end of forecasts. Shares in the travel specialist rose 5.5% to 102.2p as investors focused on higher bookings and profits over the last quarter as a whole.

Online delivery platform Just Eat slid 5.4% to 800.2p as investors were still worried about high investment costs to take on the likes of Deliveroo despite annual sales forecasts being hiked.

Electricals retailer Dixons Carphone reported 10m records with customers' personal data may have been accessed last year during a cyber-attack, but this left the stock unmoved at 177.4p.

Standard Chartered continued to grow sales and profits following a long period of restructuring. Investors were cautious on the bank's outlook as the stock dipped 1.5% to 686.5p.

Miner Vedanta Resources announced chairman Anil Agarwal's family trust Volcan Investments made an offer to buy the rest of the business, sparking a 5% rally to 818p.

A management re-shuffle offset the impact of weaker half year results at embattled credit card provider Provident Financial. The market welcomed the shake-up as the shares soared 13.1% to 697.9p.


Shares in oil and gas production group Regal Petroleum soared 18.3% to 21.5p after an independent assessment revealed a significant volumes of remaining reserves in two fields in Ukraine.

Story provided by