StockMarketWire.com - The FTSE 100 held on to its gains by midday, powered by strength in the banking sector as the agreed stimulus package for the European Union continued to buoy sentiment. At 12.55pm the FTSE 100 was up 0.5% to 6,291.48.

US futures pointed to a higher open on Wall Street as investors await the latest announcements from the second quarter earnings season.

Gambling firm GVC fell 9.3% to 790.8p as it said it was 'surprised' that the UK tax authorities had extended its investigation into the company's former Turkish facing online gambling business.

Mining titan BHP shed 3.4% to £17.36 after it boosted its quarterly iron ore production to a record, but warned the Covid-19 pandemic would hit demand for mineral and energy commodities in the coming financial year.

Broadband retailer TalkTalk Telecom reversed 0.4% to 79.2p as its revenue fell 7.5% in the first quarter of its financial year, partly due to the Covid-19 crisis.

TalkTalk nevertheless stuck to its full-year guidance for 'stable to growing' adjusted earnings, having seen some recovery in demand in June and July.

Book publisher Bloomsbury Publishing jumped 13.2% to 226.3p after its revenue climbed 18% in the first four months of its financial year, beating its expectations, as folks kept reading during lockdowns.

Bestsellers included the 'Harry Potter' series by J.K. Rowling, Sarah J. Maas' 'Crescent City: House of Earth and Blood' and 'Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race' by Reni Eddo-Lodge.

Fashion retailer Ted Baker rallied 13.9% to 80.4p even as its revenue slumped 55% after it closed stores during the pandemic.

Ted Baker described the performance as 'resilient', while noting online sales growth of 34% was stronger than it had expected.

Information business Euromoney Institutional Investors gained 2% to 813p after it reported a slide in revenue for the nine months through June, as cancelled events weighed on its asset management business.

Bowling alley group Ten Entertainment gained 0.8% to 154.8p on announcing that it would open all of its 39 English sites from the beginning of August, representing 91% of its revenue.

Train and bus ticket portal Trainline advanced 8% to 431.2p after it appointed Jody Ford to the newly created role of chief operating officer.

Ford will join from personalisation business Photobox, where he was chief executive. Previously, he had spent 10 years at eBay.

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