The FTSE remained strong amid a rising dollar against the pound. As nearly three quarters of the blue chip index's constituents generate earnings overseas, the strong dollar had a beneficial impact. The FTSE 100 closed 39.29 points ahead at 7,486. Brent crude oil nudged 0.3% higher to $58.63 per barrel. Gold and copper slipped 0.2% to $1.274 per ounce and 0.3% to $3.16 per tonne, respectively. Cigarette seller British American Tobacco (BATS) continued to rally on Wednesday's announcement that it plans to generate more than £5bn in sales by 2022 from its next-generation products. The company topped the FTSE risers, up 2.5% to £49.66. High street bank Barclays (BARC) cheapened 6.7% to 183.7p after revealing a 31% increase in third quarter profit was largely driven by lower litigation costs instead of stronger trading. OVERSEAS MARKETS Wall Street recovered from underperforming markets yesterday thanks to impressive results from chemicals giant Dow DuPont, which beat analyst expectations. At 4.20pm UK time, the Dow Jones traded 78 points ahead at 23,408. MID AND LARGE CAP RISERS AND FALLERS UK coach operator National Express (NEX) benefited from greater passenger volumes on its buses and trains, helping to boost third-quarter pre-tax profit by 12.3%.The stock accelerated 6.3% to 364.4p. Sirius Minerals (SXX) signed a binding pay offtake deal to supply POLY4 to PT Chemical Indonesia, a subsidiary of Wilmar, for exclusive resale into key South East Asian territories. The news sparked a 5.7% rise in the shares to 27.8p. Miner Kaz Minerals (KAZ) hiked its guidance for copper and gold production following a strong third quarter, helping the shares climb 1.5% to 847p. Publisher Relx (REL) remained confident it would increase annual revenue and profit thanks to underlying revenue growth of 4% for the first nine months of 2019. Its shares jumped 2.9% to £17.33. Automotive group Inchcape (INCH) benefitted from strong growth in Singapore and an acquisition in South America. Third quarter sales rose 14.6% to £2.3bn, but the market was worried about slowing new car sales in some global region, causing the shares to reverse 3.5% to 777.5p. SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS Shares in department store chain Debenhams (DEB) were static at 45.7p despite annual pre-tax profits slumping 44.2%, although this could have been tempered by 'good progress' setting foundations for a new strategy. Investors looked to the future at distributor Connect (CNCT) and focused on its two-year turnaround plan to concentrate on early distribution and mixed freight markets, instead of disappointing results. The company revealed a decline in full year sales, profits and earnings, but the shares were up 12.9% at 102.5p.
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