- Oil prices surged following a fall in US crude inventories and on the potential loss of supply from Iran, helping to propel the FTSE 100 into positive territory.

Brent crude oil rose 0.8% to $79.73 per barrel, pushing BP 1.6% higher to 552.9p and helping Royal Dutch Shell gain 1% to £25.18.

The blue-chip index closed 0.5% higher at 7,313.

Wall Street was robust with the exception of the tech-heavy Nasdaq, which declined 0.5% to 7,928 around 4:45pm UK time.


SSE blamed warm weather and high gas prices for a £190m hit to profitability. Shares in the company dimmed 8.3% to £11.47 as adjusted operating profit for the half year to 30 September is expected to be half of that achieved in the same period last year.

According to media reports, UK supermarket Tesco is launching its own discount brand Jack's next week to take on the likes of Aldi and Lidl. The stock advanced 0.4% to 237.8p.

Curtains and furniture seller Dunelm rallied 11.8% to 570.5p after like-for-like sales increased 4.2% in the year to 30 June, in line with previously trimmed guidance.

Sportswear retailer Sports Direct accelerated 3.4% to 352.7p following an in-line trading update and a board shake-up.

Homebuilder Galliford Try cut the dividend by 10% to 77p, but investors focused on a 10% jump in sales to £2.9bn and surging pre-tax profit, helping the shares strengthen 10.5% to £11.04.

Self-storage business Safestore enjoyed a 10.6% jump in sales amid improving closing occupancy, pushing the stock 3% higher to 549.5p.


Teleradiology provider Medica delivered higher operating profit and sales in the first half of 2018. The shares received a 3.4% shot in the arm to 150p.

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