- UK stocks gained further momentum in mid-morning trading on Wednesday as China made moves to stabilise its currency, calming markets across the world.

At 1156, the benchmark FTSE 100 index was up 64 points, or 0.9%, to 7,236.


Litigation finance firm Burford Capital was the big faller of the morning after it plunged 48.2% to 570p following a suspected attack from short sellers.

Short seller Muddy Waters claimed the company is a 'perfect storm for an accounting fiasco' and that its 'governance structures are laughter-inducing'. Burford hit back that it had just reported the best results in its history, and claimed that Muddy Waters is trying to 'panic investors'.

Miner and commodities trader Glencore shed 2.05% to 226.6p after announcing that its half-yearly earnings fell by nearly a third, amid lower copper and cobalt prices and poor performance from its African mines.

Glencore also confirmed that it would put the Mutanda mine in the Democratic Republic of the Congo on care and maintenance by the end of 2019 due to reduced cobalt prices.

Insurance giant Legal & General slipped 0.3% to 244.6p, even as it posted a 12% rise in first-half pre-tax profit and raised its interim dividend by 7.2%.

Asset manager Standard Life Aberdeen cheapened 5.8% to 265.4p on the back of a fall in adjusted first-half profit owing to net outflows from its funds and lower fee revenue.

Defence, aerospace and energy contractor Ultra Electronics rallied 8.9% to £20.22 as it increased spending on defence by the US government bolstered its earnings.

Pharmaceuticals company AstraZeneca rose 0.7% to £71.26 after it and Merck announced positive test results on their castration-resistant prostate cancer drug.

Gambling company Flutter Entertainment, previously known as Paddy Power Betfair, gained 3.9% to £64.68, despite booking a 24% fall in first-half profit that nevertheless beat market expectations.

Spirax-Sarco Engineering dropped 4.6% to £82.11 after it only managed to eke out a modest rise in first-half profit, on the back of higher sales of its thermal energy management and niche pumping products.

Recruitment firm Page added 3.45% to 455.4p, as it booked an 11% rise in first-half profit, owing to strong growth in some of its overseas businesses, including the US, offsetting a weaker performance at home in the UK.

Healthcare services group UDG Healthcare firmed up 2.4% to 770p after revealing that its third-quarter pre-tax profit was 'well ahead' on-year on a constant currency basis, while reiterating its full-year guidance.


UK Oil & Gas shed 2.97% to 0.85p on news that it had agreed to up its stake in the Horse Hill oil development south of London, also known as the 'Gatwick Gusher', by acquiring Magellan Petroleum Investment Holdings for £12m.

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