UK stocks closed higher on Friday as investors held out hope that stimulus measures and vaccines would get the global economy through the Covid-19 crisis, even as cases continued to jump in the US and elsewhere.

London’s FTSE 100 finished 39.6 points higher, or up 0.63%, at 6,290.3, while the FTSE 250 ended the session up 0.15% at 17,347.90.

LARGE AND MID CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Mining giant Rio Tinto (RIO) rose 2.45% to £49.41, having stuck to its annual iron-ore output guidance after it produced 4% more of the key steel-making ingredient in the second quarter.

Home repairs and improvement business Homeserve (HSV) gained 3.6% to £13.50 after it said it still expected a ‘solid’ performance for the fiscal year 2021, with demand for services bouncing back as lockdowns ease.

Support services group DCC (DCC) edged up 24p to £70.88 as it announced a first-quarter performance ahead of its expectations, although behind the prior year owing to lockdowns in place during April and May.

Fund manager Ninety One (N91) firmed 2.1% to 224p after its assets under management rose 14% in the first quarter as global equity markets staged a comeback from heavy pandemic-related falls in March.

Sebastian Lyon-managed Personal Assets Trust (PNL) put on 0.7% to £448.5 after reporting a 5.3% rise in net asset value (NAV) for the year to April 2020, comfortably outperforming a 19.8% fall for the FTSE All-Share Index.

SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Freight management services provider Xpediator (XPD:AIM) advanced 6.7% to 24p on seeing trading volumes return to more normal levels, putting it on track to only marginally miss its original expectations for the first half.

Online educational services group Wey Education (WEY:AIM) leapt 7.8% to 25p as it announced that it expected to swing to a better than expected full-year profit amid a 30% jump in sales.

Recruitment company Gattaca (GATC:AIM) rallied 17.2% to 51p, even as it forecast net fee income for the year to fall by more than a fifth, despite a better-than-expected performance in the three months through June.

Training solutions group Pennant International (PEN:AIM) jumped 22.2% to 44p on announcing that it had won a new contract in the Middle East with an initial order value of £1.5 million.

Oil company Reabold Resources (RBD:AIM) added 1.7% to 0.585p after it hit back at criticism of its prospects by Deltic Energy, for which Reabold Resources has launched a hostile takeover bid.

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Issue Date: 17 Jul 2020