- The FTSE 100 remained in positive territory, up 0.4% at 7,469, supported by upbeat trading in Asia and a bounce back in US equities.

At around 4:45pm UK time, the tech-heavy Nasdaq was 0.3% higher, nearly crossing the 8,000 mark thanks to strong results from the likes of Johnson and Johnson.

Brent crude oil was broadly unmoved at $71.23 per barrel and gold fell 0.9% to $1,274 per ounce.

JD Sports Fashion gained 4.7% after it reported a 15% jump in annual profit that beat its own recently-upgraded expectations.

Galliford Try tumbled 20.5% after it warned on profits and said it had launched a strategic review that could see it shrink the size of its construction arm.

Security specialist G4S reported sales increased 4.8% in the first quarter of 2019 versus the same period a year earlier, citing growth in its Secure Solutions and Cash Solutions arms. Shares in the firm advanced 1.7%.

Rio Tinto retreated 0.6% after a downgrade to its annual iron-ore production guidance following cyclones in Australia's Pilbara region wasn't as bad as feared. Output for most other commodities, including copper and bauxite, rose during the first quarter.

Kainos dipped 1.6% to 552.7p despite revealing an in line trading update thanks to strong growth in its digital services and robust performance in its digital platforms division.

Premier Oil advanced 0.2% after a new side-track well offshore Mexico confirmed the quality of recent discoveries in the area.

Recruitment consultant Hays fell 2.6% after investors were left disappointed with a 6% rise in like-for-like net fee income in the first quarter.

Card Factory firmed 10% as it booked an expected 7.3% fall in annual profit, but also suggested it could have another special dividend in the kitty for investors this year.

Emerging markets asset manager Ashmore gained 6.3% as its assets under management increased by 11% in the first quarter, amid net inflows of $5bn and a positive investment performance of $3.6bn.

Sub-prime lender Provident Financial once again urged its shareholders to reject a hostile takeover bid from Non-Standard Financial, with chairman Patrick Snowball describing the bid as 'dreadful' in a letter to investors. Provident shares rose 0.1% while NSF shares fell 0.3%.

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