The FTSE 100 was supported by rising miners and banks, trading 0.5% higher at 7,251 around midday. Rio Tinto (RIO) jumped 3.1% to £41.50 and Glencore (GLEN) advanced 2.4% to 391.8p. Among the banks, Barclays (BARC) and Lloyds (LLOY) were winners, gaining up to 1.7%. Brent crude oil slipped 0.5% to $64 per barrel. OVERSEAS MARKETS Tech stocks were in demand on Wall Street and investors overlooked disappointing inflation data, helping the S&P 500 rally 1.3% to 2,698 overnight. Sentiment was also strong in Asia this morning with Hong Kong's Hang Seng closed 2% higher at 30,515. MID AND LARGE CAP RISERS AND FALLERS Engineer GKN (GKN) urged shareholders to resist the hostile takeover by Melrose (MRO), arguing the attempt is opportunistic. ConvaTec (CTEC) beat lower full year sales expectations, helping to overshadow ongoing supply issues and pushing its shares 7.4% higher to 212.3p. RELX (REL) dropped 1.2% to £14.39 despite solid 2017 results. The company also announced it was ditching its dual share structure for a single PLC share listed in Amsterdam and London. Insurer Lancashire (LRE) revealed 2018 will be another challenging year after falling into the red. Pre-tax losses hit £72.9m in the year to 31 December, down from a pre-tax profit of £150.4m in 2016. The stock declined 2.9% to 635p. SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS Oxford BioMedica (OXB) announced a new collaboration for its haemophilia treatments with Bioverativ, helping the shares rally 10.2% to 11.8p. On AIM, electronics engineer Stadium (SDM) recommended a £45.8m takeover from TT Electronics (TTG), prompting the shares to soar 42.9% to 119.3p.
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