- The FTSE 100 closed up 0.5% at 7,109.97 after a solid start to trading on Wall Street and as the Bank of England kept rates on hold.

By 4.30pm UK time the S&P 500 had advanced 0.5% to 4,264.43.

Pharmaceutical giants AstraZeneca and MSD said their drug to treat advanced prostate cancer was granted conditional approval in China. AstraZeneca's share price was up 1.1% at £84.11.

Distribution and services group Bunzl's share price rose 0.8% to £24.03 on expectations of a 1% rise in first-half revenue. The company has seen a strong recovery in demand from foodservice and retail sectors was largely offset by the anticipated decline in larger Covid-19 related orders.

The Sage Group has pledged to achieve net zero emissions by 2040, and to halve its carbon emissions by 2030, as part of its Sustainability and Society strategy, 'Knocking Down Barriers'. Its share price was up 1.3% to 687.4p.

Homebuilder Crest Nicholson upgraded its outlook on annual adjusted earnings after swinging to a first-half profit thanks to a jump in revenue amid a rise in home completions. Following the announcement, its share price rose 0.8% to 433.8p.

Allergy Therapeutics' share price was up 1.2% to 24.9p as it said it expected annual operating profit to be 'well ahead' of market expectations, driven by sales growth and lower costs.

Wood Group's like for like revenue for the six months ended 30 June 2021 was down 21% when compared with same period in 2020 as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Shares in the company fell 8.9% to 208.6p.

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