- UK stocks were in positive territory at lunchtime on Friday as investors held out hope that stimulus measures and vaccines would get the global economy through the Covid-19 crisis, even as cases continued to jump in the US and elsewhere.

The benchmark FTSE 100 was up 0.5% at 6,282.84, while the FTSE 250 was up 0.1% at 17,339.2.


Mining company Rio Tinto rose 1.6% to £49.02, having stuck to its annual iron-ore output guidance after it produced 4% more of the key steel-making ingredient in the second quarter.

Home repairs and improvement business Homeserve gained 4% to £13.56 after it said it still expected a 'solid' performance for the fiscal year 2021, with demand for services bouncing back as lockdowns ease.

Support services group DCC shed 0.5% to £70.29 even as it announced a first-quarter performance ahead of its expectations, although behind the prior year owing to lockdowns in place during April and May.

Component supplier Essentra rose 2.1p to 326.3p after a subsidiary reached a $667k (£530K) settlement with the US Department of Justice over unauthorised transactions linked to North Korea.

Fund manager Ninety One firmed 1.8% to 223.4p after its assets under management rose 14% in the first quarter, as global equity markets staged a comeback from heavy pandemic-related falls in March.


Freight management services provider Xpediator advanced 4.4% to 23.5p on seeing trading volumes return to more normal levels, putting it on track to only marginally miss its original expectations for the first half.

Online educational services group Wey Education leapt 9.1% to 25.3p as it announced that it expected to swing to a full-year profit, higher than current market expectations, amid a 30% jump in sales.

Recruitment company Gattaca rallied 13.8% to 49.5p, even as it forecast net fee income for the year to fall by more than a fifth, despite a better-than-expected performance in the three months through June.

Training solutions group Pennant International jumped 23.6% to 44.5p on announcing that it had won a new contract in the Middle East with an initial order value of £1.5m.

Oil company Reabold Resources added 1.7% to 0.585p after it hit back at criticism of its prospects by Deltic Energy, for which Reabold Resources has launched a hostile takeover bid.

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