- UK stocks rallied during the afternoon session scraping into positive territory, buoyed by a positive opening for stocks in the US. There is a growing expectation that if the US Federal Reserve were to signal that it would allow higher inflation that might encourage more consumer expenditure, which was weaker than expected yesterday.

At 16:30, the benchmark FTSE 100 index inched up 0.1%, to 6,043 points.

Subprime lender Provident Financial rallied 20.8% to 236p despite swinging to a first-half loss and scrapping its interim dividend, as its revenue fell and impairment charges grew amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Provident, however, said it had nevertheless performed better than expected and had repaid furlough support to the UK government.

Bus and rail company Go-Ahead rallied 2.9% to 668.5p after it won a two-year contract extension to continue operating around 450 buses in the Loyang region of Singapore.

Mining company Hummingbird Resources added 2.9% to 35p as it swung to a first-half profit, also on the back of rising gold prices.

Tech company Vianet added 1.9% to 95.3p, having announced that trading for the first four months of its financial year had been ahead of revenue and profit forecasts revised due to Covid-19.

Vianet is heavily exposed to a UK pub and restaurant sector that has shown recovery signs since lockdowns were eased.

Miner Polymetal International edged up 0.9% to £19.7 after hiking its dividend after its first-half earnings more than doubled on the back of higher gold and silver prices.

Polymetal declared a dividend for the six months through July of $0.44 per share, up from $0.2 year-on-year.

Cruise operator Carnival sank 0.6% to 971.2p, as it cancelled yet more services, this time at its Princess Cruises unit, citing border restrictions and uncertainty over airline travel.

Kidney disease diagnostics group Renalytix AI fell 2.6% to 557.4p on news that it had filed a submission seeking clearance of its KidneyIntelX product with the US Food and Drug Administration.

Argentina-focused oil company President Energy dropped 2.9% to 1.7p on announcing that it had entered into a drilling contract for two new wells scheduled to commence later this year.

President also announced it had discussions with a 'national oil company' regarding the potential sale of a stake in President's Pirity asset in Paraguay.

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