- The FTSE 100 struggled as miners continued to underperform on weaker copper prices, leaving the blue-chip index trading 0.6% lower at 7,516 around midday.

Fresnillo fell 1.5% to 920.4p, while BHP Billiton and Anglo American experienced smaller losses.

Brent crude oil rose 0.7% to $77.71 per barrel and copper fell 0.8% to $2.69 per pound.


Newsagent WH Smith continued to perform well in its travel division and was confident of future opportunities in the travel market, prompting investors to mark the shares 1.7% higher to £20.88.

Recruiter Hays reported only 2% growth in its UK and Ireland division amid an uncertain market, causing the stock to slide 4.2% to 194.2p. Investors overlooked growing pre-tax profits and a special dividend as the UK and Ireland represents a quarter of the overall business.

Energy services firm Hunting managed to deliver an underlying profit of $53.5m, up from a $9.3m loss last year. Shares in the company rallied 13.3% to 859.9p.


Inkjet tech business Xaar plummeted 28.9% to 174.8p on the news that trading continues to be below the levels anticipated by the board amid an 'aggressive' decline in ceramics. In a double whammy of bad news, the reception of Xaar's new products was 'significantly' slower than expected.

Half of butcher Crawshaw's market value was wiped off following a warning that full year sales will be flat.

Anglo African Agriculture soared 60% to 0.8p on a two-year loan to help fund the growth of marine logistics group Comarco in Kenya.

Guarantor loans company Amigo shed 6% to 263.1p with investors clearly expecting better results than the 31% jump in pre-tax profits in the quarter to 30 June.

Shares in tool and equipment hire specialist HSS Hire gained 5.4% to 29.2p after making significant progress with its turnaround strategy by boosting sales and cutting debt.

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