StockMarketWire.com - The FTSE 100 enjoyed a robust start after the long Bank Holiday weekend, trading 0.3% higher at 7,601 around midday thanks to a rally in the mining sector.

Evraz strengthened 4.3% to 512.8p followed by Anglo American with a 3% gain to £16.22.

Fresnillo and BHP Billiton were both up over 2% each.

Brent crude oil rose 0.5% to $76.59 per barrel and gold increased 0.6% to $1,217 per ounce.

MID AND LARGE CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

British distributor Bunzl enjoyed a boost from three recent acquisitions, helping pre-tax profit jump 3.9% to £257.9m in its first half. The company also announced the acquisition of catering equipment supplier Enor. Despite the raft of good news, the shares reversed 1.1% to £23.03.

Plastics packager RPC reported it is selling Letica's food service packaging firm to Graphic Packaging for $95m, but this failed to spark any gains at 766.6p.

Lloyds was broadly unmoved at 60.7p after completing its £1bn share buyback programme.

SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

On AIM, SDX Energy unveiled a slide in first half profits despite stronger oil prices, causing the stock to fall 7.5% to 56.4p.

CSF Group revealed it intends to seek shareholder approval to delist from AIM, wiping off a third of its market value.

Prairie Mining confirmed press speculation that it is in discussions over a possible transaction between the company and Polish coal mining business JSW, triggering an 22.1% rise to 32.9p.


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