London stocks surge in early trade on Wednesday after a dovish US Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen last night reiterated the need for interest-rate caution. Miners and oil majors form the vanguard at the head of the FTSE leader board, the UK blue-chip index charging 85 points, or about 1.4%, higher to 6,192.

US equipment rental play Ashtead (AHT), up 2.4% to 871p, is among a number of cyclicals enjoying a boost from the Fed. US central bank chief Yellen backed off earlier forecasts for an aggressive tightening cycle during 2016 saying that while core inflation was stronger than expected, economic growth remains fragile.

Diamonds and iron ore miner Anglo American (AAL), up 9.0% to 522p and platinum producer Lonmin (LMI), up 10.5% to 125p, are among the stand-out gainers in a sea of green for miners and speculative energy plays.

Premier Foods (PFD) rallies after US spice giant McCormick increases its offer for the company from 60p to 65 per share, valuing the Mr Kipling to Oxo Cubes group at £1.5 billion.

Bookmaker William Hill (WMH) is under the cosh after Morgan Stanley downgraded the stock to ‘underweight’ from 'equalweight’ and cut the target price to 290p from 425p following the group’s profit warning last week.

Oil wellhead technology specialist Plexus (POS:AIM) slumps 12.3% to 48p as it posts a £3.49 million loss for the six months to 31 December 2015. The Aberdeen company also suspends its dividend.

Cameroon focused oil explorer Bowleven (BLVN:AIM) falls 14% to 20p as it posts a loss of $132 million for the six months to 31 December 2015. The culprit being asset writedowns amounting to $133.5 million.

Supercapacitors designer CAP-XX (CPX:AIM) crashes 20% to 3.95p as it remains fixed in the red at the half-year stage. The Australian firm books an interim A$0.3 million loss.

Issue Date: 30 Mar 2016