Source - SMW
A weaker pound and continued strength in mining stocks kept the FTSE 100's positive momentum going. The blue-chip index advanced 0.7% to 7,218 around midday.

Antofagasta (ANTO) and Anglo American (AAL) increased by approximately 1.5% apiece.

Other notable risers were British American Tobacco (BATS) and HSBC (HSBA).

Brent crude oil was down 0.4% at $62.46 per barrel. 


Wall Street was still in recovery mode overnight, with the S&P 500 making small gains of 0.2% to 2,662.

Asia followed the US higher this morning with the exception of Japan's Nikkei 225, which closed 0.4% lower at 21,154.


Galliford Try (GFRD) was unloved by the market on an announcement it is raising £150m to strengthen its balance sheet due to financial pressures from the liquidation of Carillion (CLLN). The need to bolster its finances is linked to excess costs on its Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route joint venture with Carillion and Balfour Beatty (BBY). Shares in Galliford Try fell 17.5% to 814.4p.

Serco (SRP) secured a discount on its purchase of Carillion's healthcare contracts and said it would pay £29.7m. Its shares rose 2% to 85.2p.

Soft drinks bottler Coca-Cola HBC (CCH) reported profits beat expectations, driven by a strong performance in emerging markets, operational leverage and controlled costs. Shares in the company fizzed 3.1% higher to £23.06.

Pay TV firm Sky (SKY) sparked 3.2% to £10.95 after extending its Premier League rights at a 14% discount from 2019 to 2022.

Engineer GKN (GKN) reported it planned to return up to £2.5bn to shareholders over the next three years in a bid to fight off a hostile takeover by Melrose (MRO). 

Sirius Minerals (SXX) signed up an alternative contractor for construction work at its polyhalite project in North Yorkshire after ending talks with another contractor. Its shares gained 1.6% to 22.5p.


Trading Emissions' (TRE) subsidiary TEP entered a deal with NextPower concerning the sale of its Italian solar asset SEI1 for an estimated €7.97m. Its shares soared 24.9% to 2.5p, but fell back to 2p around midday.

The resignation of Nighthawk Energy's (HAWK) chief financial officer Kurtis Hooley triggered a 17% slide to 0.4p.