FTSE 100 creeps higher by midday despite Covid and interest rate fears

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The FTSE 100 gained 0.16% to 7,297.73 shrugging off concerns about mounting Covid infections in Europe and possible increases in interest rates.

African service station operator Vivo Energy gained 19.4% to 133p after major shareholder and oil trader Vitol swooped with a $2.3 billion deal for the company.

Pub group Mitchells & Butlers reported narrower annual losses as the easing of pandemic restrictions and cost costs bolstered performance. Its shares rose 3.8% to 245p.

Eco Animal Health fell 20% to 159.9p after reporting that profit slumped in the first half of the year following a fall in revenue in China amid in falling pig prices.

Infrastructure group Hill & Smith fell 6.5% to £17.44 after reporting a rise in revenue in the four month period to 31 October 2021 as price increases helped offset rising costs amid supply chain headwinds.

Asset management services company MJ Hudson rose 7.76% to 45.8p after reporting narrower annual losses as revenue recovered from the pandemic impact.

Delivery services firm DX fell 34.3% to 20p after it delayed the publication of its audited results after a corporate governance issue was raised.

Pharmaceutical development company Nuformix gained 27.6% to 1.85p after announcing ​positive data from a pre-clinical trial of its lead drug candidate to treat idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.

Agri-Services group Origin Enterprises was flat despite reporting a surge in revenue in the first quarter of the year, led by a rise in global fertiliser and feed prices.

Hochschild Mining climbed 22% to 148.80 to 26.8p after saying that its mining operations in Peru would continue to operate under the current framework, after the government in Peru made a u-turn on plans to rule out timeline extensions for mines in Ayacucho amid environmental concerns.