- A rally in the oil price on reports of higher demand in China helped lift oil majors BP and Shell, pushing the FTSE 100 0.3% higher to 7,049.

Shell rose 1.4% to £25.69 and BP added 0.5% to 557.5p.

Other noticeable risers included utility companies with British Gas owner Centrica sparked 1.3% to 149.2p followed by SSE, up 1.8% at £11.50.

Wall Street enjoyed a strong end to the week thanks to robust corporate updates with the Dow Jones trading 0.6% higher at 25,537 around 5pm UK time.

Brent crude oil gained 1.3% to $80.30 per barrel and copper climbed 1.2% to $2.77 per pound.


Shares in miner Acacia fell 6.5% to 148p after announcing it is 'deeply concerned' about the increasing risks to the security of its people and the more challenging operating environment in Tanzania.

Shopping centre owner Intu Properties rallied 12.5% to 200p as it mulled a proposed £2.91bn takeover bid from Peel Group, Saudi Arabia's Olayan and Brookfield Asset Management.

Bourse operator London Stock Exchange gained 2.4% to £43.91, as it booked a 5% rise in third-quarter revenue and upped its stake in clearing house group LCH.

InterContinental Hotels shed 3.5% to £40.70 after disappointing investors with 1% revenue-per-room growth in the third quarter, and despite pledging to pay a $500m special dividend.

Auto dealer Pendragon hit the skids, falling 8% to 24.2p, as it warned annual profits would be hurt by new global engine-testing regulations that are causing vehicle supply disruptions.

Fund manager Man Group, meanwhile, announced a second consecutive $100m share buyback to distribute proceeds of an investment gain. Its shares were broadly unmoved at 141.8p.

Sub-prime lender Provident Financial said the performance at its home credit unit had been hurt in the third quarter by a restructure plan. Investors weren't entirely surprised and its shares fell just 1.2% to 547p.

Veterinary drugs supplier Dechra Pharmaceuticals fattened 8% to £23.32 on news it had acquired Brazil-based Venco for R$185m, or about £37.8m. Dechra also said it was confident of delivering on its full-year guidance.


Safestyle gained 13.5% to 57p after the company responded to market speculation over talks with rival SafeGlaze. According to the statement the Safetstyle Board is considering arrangements with key stakeholders that 'could benefit Safestyle's business and accelerate its recovery'.

At the smaller-company end of the market, Rockfire Resources tumbled 24.7% to 1.1p after test drilling at its Marengo prospect in Australia's Queensland state failed to find significant gold or copper deposits.

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