Source - SMW
A strong performance from global equities and a 0.9% plunge in the pound lifted the FTSE 100 by 0.7% to 7,472 around midday.

The UK economy grew by 0.1%, in the first quarter of 2018, down from 0.4% growth in the last quarter of 2017 and the slowest growth since 2012.

This put pressure on sterling, helping to drive the FTSE 100 higher with the biggest risers including Imperial Brands (IMB), Fresnillo (FRES) and Diageo (DGE).

Brent crude oil slid 0.3% to $74.54 per barrel. Copper cheapened 1.7% to $3.06 per pound. 


Competitive pressures at high street bank Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) pushed its net interest margin down two basis points, overshadowing an improvement in its operating profits. The stock fell 1.8% to 267.5p

Thorpe Park owner Merlin Entertainments (MERL) rose 4.2% to 361.2p after reporting an earlier Easter and poor weather affected several of its parks, but not enough to drag on trading.


Recruiter Harvey Nash (HVN) beat analyst forecasts by delivering a 24.4% increase in pre-tax profit in the year to 31 January. Its shares added 3.8% to 100.1p.

Malvern International (MLVN) narrowed losses for 2017 from £1.45m to £0.69m. The support services firm also revealed the acquisition of a school in Singapore, triggering a 16.4% rally to 3.9p.

Software company Dillistone (DSG) fell into the red with a £0.07m loss in 2017, down from £0.5m profit, dragging the shares 10.5% lower to 85.4p.

Nexus Infrastructure (NEXS) said it was taking longer than expected to convert orders into sales due to increased conditions being stipulated by local authorities and clients appointing Nexus early in the preconstruction stage. The shares fell 16% to 210p in response.
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