StockMarketWire.com - The FTSE 100 made a modest recovery on Wednesday led higher by the oil majors and a rebound in tobacco stocks after a regulatory-driven hit at the start of the week. By the close the index was up 0.5% at 6895.29.

In the US the S&P 500 was up 0.5% to 4,154.74 by 4.30pm UK time, wiping out some of its own losses from Tuesday.

The UK consumer price index rose 0.7% in March from 0.4% in February, indicating the economy was on the mend -- though the market had expected an even stronger reading, of 0.8%.

BHP gained 0.5% to £21.78 after it upgraded its annual copper production guidance, though it also downgraded its guidance for both metallurgical and energy coal.

The world's biggest mining company kept its guidance for petroleum and iron-ore intact, with output of the latter rising 4% in the nine months through March.

Chile-focused copper play Antofogasta shed 0.4% to £18.34 after it reported a fall in first-quarter output but stuck to its annual guidance.

Hochschild Mining rose 5.3% to 206p after it, too, maintained its annual production forecasts, despite reporting weaker first-quarter numbers.

Elsewhere, plastics producer Synthomer firmed 3.9% to 500.2p, having upgraded its annual earnings guidance, reflecting strong demand for its nitrile latex products during the pandemic.

Synthomer's earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation for the year through December were now expected to be in excess of £450 million.

Distribution and services group Bunzl dropped 3.2% to £24.24, even as it reported a 5.4% rise in first-quarter revenue driven by demand for Covid-19 related products.

Bunzl stuck to its previous annual guidance -- for 'robust' revenue growth in 2021.

Inhaled respiratory treatment group Vectura climbed 2% to 113.8p on announcing that it would pay a 19p/share special dividend following victory in a patent litigation involving GlaxoSmithKline.

Meanwhille, generic drugs group Hikma Pharmaceuticals rose 2.7% to £24.43 said as it resumed the launch of a generic version of GlaxoSmithKline's asthma Advair Diskus in the US.

Online contracts for difference broker Plus500 rose 0.6% to £15.05, having agreed to acquire the membership interests of Cunningham Commodities and Cunningham Trading Systems in the US for around $30 million.

Auto dealer Pendragon advanced 1.3% to 19.7p as it swung to a first-quarter underlying profit, despite a slump in sales, after it cut expenses.

Flooring manufacturer Victoria firmed 2.9% to 916p following news that it had acquired ceramic tile distributors Ceramica Colli, Vallelunga and Ceramiche Santa Maria for around €35 million.


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