- Better than anticipated Chinese manufacturing data overnight and optimism over upcoming trade talks between the US and China helped global equities gain positive momentum.

The FTSE 100 rose 0.5% to 7,317 despite stronger sterling ahead of the latest round of Brexit votes.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones jumped 0.9% to 26,163 at around 4:45pm UK time.

Brent crude oil rose 1.6% to $68.67 per barrel.


EasyJet dropped 9.7% to £10.09 after it warned of softer ticket yields in the second half, as Brexit uncertainty put off travellers.

Shares in WPP gained 2.7% to 833p after Deutsche Bank upgraded its recommendation from 'hold' to 'buy'.

Rio Tinto gained 2.3% despite warning its annual iron ore production would be at the bottom end of its guidance range after a cyclone damaged port facilities in Australia.

Fellow miner Ferrexpo rose 6.3% after it said its full year results would be delivered by April, as it probes evidence that its charitable donations to Blooming Land had been possibly misused.

The mining sector in general was strong as the positive Chinese macro-economic data implied a boost for commodities demand.

Sports Direct was flat at 292p after announcing that it had been contacted by a number of Debenhams shareholders expressing their support for the appointment of Mike Ashley as Debenhams chief executive. Debenhams shares initially fell but later gained 3.7%.

Serco gained 1.9% to 130.5p after it announced that it had signed a two-year £140m contract extension with authorities in Dubai to continue operating and maintaining its metro train line until September 2021.

De La Rue signed a five-year contract with the General Authority of Zakat and Tax in Saudi Arabia, sparking a 5.6% share price jump to 407p.


Georgian oil producer Block Energy gained 59.6% to 6.2p as it announced significantly better expected results from drilling on its flagship asset in the country.

Shares in Circassia Pharmaceuticals rose 17.1% to 32.8p after Duaklir was approved by US regulatory authorities for the treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Industrial materials company Low & Bonar revealed a profit warning after a weak first quarter, prompting the stock to tumble 22.3% to 13.2p.

Video games developer Codemasters was up 2% at 242.7p on robust second half trading.

Clothing retailer Joules was unmoved at 288p on news that chief executive Colin Porter would retire before the end of the group's 2020 financial year.

Infection prevention product manufacturer Tristel added 3.7% to 285.1p on announcing that two of its disinfectant products had gained regulatory approval in China and South Korea.

Reabold Resources gained 4.5% after it reported a new oil discovery in California that appeared to be larger than initial expectations.

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