- The FTSE 100 was the laggard among global equities as concerns over the Chinese economy weighed on miners and oil majors alike.

At close, the blue-chip index was 0.5% lower at 6,862.

Rising sterling also made an impact as UK Prime Minister Theresa May's defeated Brexit bill was perceived as making the possibility of a hard Brexit less likely. May faces a vote of no confidence later today.

Both Royal Dutch Shell and BP fell by more than 1.2%, while miners Evraz and Fresnillo faced bigger declines of up to 3.6% each.

Positive financial results from Goldman Sachs and Bank of America lifted the Dow Jones, up 0.7% at 24,232 at around 4:45pm UK time.

Brent crude oil advanced 0.6% to $61 per barrel.


Education group Pearson fell 6.1% to 916.5p as it narrowed its annual earnings guidance to around the midpoint of the previous range and tipped an improved performance in 2019.

Pearson also upgraded its cost savings guidance, although underlying sales in 2018 slipped 1%. Its shares had rallied strongly over the past 12 months.

Reckitt Benckiser shed 4.3% to £59.79 on news that chief executive Rakesh Kapoor intended retire by the end of 2019 after more than eight years at the helm of the consumer goods giant.

Housebuilder Bovis Homes gained 3.8% to 962.2p on announcing that it expected annual profits to be slightly ahead of market expectations amid a 'significant step-up' in operating margins.

Cinema chain Cineworld softened 6.8% to 257.8p amid investor disappointment with a 7.2% rise in annual revenue recorded amid a strong US film slate. Over-50s insurer Saga dipped 1.3% to 101.8p despite assuring investors it continued to trade in line with expectations.

Parcels delivery service Royal Mail accelerated 4.7% to 287.3p as the likelihood of a Jeremy-Corbyn-led government increased following May's defeated Brexit deal vote on Tuesday.

Tullow Oil was broadly unmoved at 199.7p as it forecast a 4% rise in annual revenue, after meeting the top end of its production guidance amid higher oil prices.

Technical-product supplier Diploma said it had poached Compass Group finance director Johnny Thomson as its chief executive, while also reporting 9% rise in first-quarter sales. Its shares reversed 0.6% to £12.60.


Small cap oil and gas play Reabold Resources slumped 21.4% to 0.5p on news that an exploration well in the UK North Sea, of which it held a non-operating interest, had failed to find hydrocarbons.

Cake-maker Finsbury Food slumped 10.7% to 83p as its first-half sales declined 3.5% in a 'difficult macro environment' marked by rising ingredient costs.

Concrete placing specialist Somero Enterprises rallied 13.6% to 333p on news that its sales and earnings are expected to beat market forecasts.

Shares in engineering contractor Van Elle went in the opposite direction, falling 19.5% to 64p, on a profit warning.

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