FTSE rises as miners get metal price boost

An uptick in metal prices supported gains in the mining sector and pushed the FTSE 100 into positive territory.

Shares in Antofagasta (ANTO) and Fresnillo (FRES) were lifted 1.3% and 1.1% to £10.14 and £14.60 respectively.

Other noticeable risers were Nurofen owner Reckitt Benckiser (RB.), up 1.3% and utility firm SSE (SSE), up 1.6%.

Around midday, the FTSE traded 0.1% higher at 7,545.

Brent crude oil slid 0.9% to $56.45 per barrel. Gold gained 0.6% to $1,293 per ounce and copper advanced 0.3% to $3.09 per pound.

OVERSEAS MARKETS

A strong performance in the property and tech sectors helped Wall Street rally to new highs.

Overnight the Dow Jones rose 0.2% to 22,872.

MID AND LARGE CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Popular shows such as Game of Thrones helped Sky (SKY) boost like-for-like sales by 5% to £3.3bn in the first quarter, helping the shares tick 1.8% higher to 930p.

Just Eat (JE.) said its acquisition of unlisted Hungryhouse was provisionally cleared by the Competition and Markets Authority. Shares in Just Eat accelerated 4.7% to 736p.

Recruiter Hays (HAS) achieved another record quarterly net fee performance with 13% growth in Continental Europe and the rest of the world, offsetting modest growth in the UK & Ireland. The stock advanced 0.2% to 190.5p.

Bookseller WH Smith (SMWH) was broadly unmoved at £20.77 despite a 10% hike in its dividend after pre-tax profit rose 7% to £140m in the year to August.

Londis owner Booker Group (BOK) revealed sales rose 2.5% to £2.6bn the 24 weeks to 8 September thanks to a 7.5% jump in non-tobacco revenue, but tobacco was down 9% due to legislative changes. Shares in the firm were flat at 205.9p.

Investors were unimpressed by fashion business N Brown's (BWNG) positive trading momentum and market share gains in the six 26 weeks to 2 September as the shares fell 3.4% to 338p.

The market felt lucky with sports betting firm GVC (GVC) thanks to a strong third quarter and its highest growth rate since the gaming company took over bwin.party. The stock was up 2.6% to 890p.

SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

A positive trading update from bathroom specialist Norcross (NXR) helped the shares rise 5.9% to 178p. Management guided towards 12.5% sales growth to £144.9m, driven by a resilient UK performance and growth in South Africa.

Engineering group Renold (RNO) tumbled by 9.7% to 46.5p on a full year profit warning, which it blamed on the Chinese division. The company said the higher cost of steel was partially responsible for the decline in profitability.

Elsewhere, Elegant Hotels (EHG) announced bookings at the start of its financial year were ahead of last year, causing its shares to rally 8.2% to 86.8p.