The FTSE 100, London’s blue-chip ticker, closed firm on Wednesday, buoyed by solid jobs data in the wake of Britain’s decision to leave the European Union and a surge by miners on rising commodity prices.
Galliford Try (LON:GFRD) was the biggest mover on the FTSE 250, with a 7.4% rise to 1214.9p. It reported strong annual results and also proposed raising its dividend payout by 21%. The mid-cap ticker edged 0.2% lower to 17,631.
But mid-caps were in the minority as the rest of the market posted gains. The FTSE AIM 100 Index gained 0.2% to 3,803 and the FTSE AIM All-Share Index was up 0.1% to 802.
London gainers overall were 29%, losers 34% and unchanged 37%. London’s top gainer was Premier African Minerals (LON:PREM) up 33% to 0.5p after announcing that an extensive diamond drilling programme on the company's substantial Zulu Lithium Project had begun in Zimbabwe and serial small cap firm promoter and lithium expert David Lenigas had joined Zulu as an independent reviewer. Read more.
Britain's blue chips were still motoring ahead at lunch, as traders considered positive UK jobs data.
The latest data from the ONS showed nearly 75% of people who can work do have jobs, which is a record rate.
The rate of unemployment rate was down from 5.5% a year ago, and little changed from last month's rate, which prompted economists to say that as yet there has not been a "Brexit effect" on the jobs market.
FTSE 100 is up over 41 points at the time of writing, at 6,706, while the FTSE250 was also ahead - up over 64.
Mining giant Glencore (LON:GELN) led the pack, up 3.42% to 183.10p. easyJet (LON:EZJ) was the biggest laggard, flying 1.5% lower.
Premier African PLC (LON:PREM), the multi-commodity mining group was still leading the London pack, up over 33% to 0.5p as it revealed it had hired serial entrepreneur and small stock promoter David Lenigas as a lithium consultant.
Gaming and slot machine software group Quixant (LON:QXT) added 10.45% to 243p as its core gaming division saw strong growth in the top line and profits while the recently acquired Densitron division, which specialises in electronic screens, made a healthy contribution in interim results.
Elsewhere, the Parkmead Group PLC (LON:PMG) added over 14% to 56.25p as it increased its oil reserves by almost a fifth by increasing its stakes in two Moray Firth fields.
It now owns just over 60% of the licences for the Perth and Dolphin (PDL) areas that are host to two “sizeable” accumulations light crude and that have been tested at production rates of 6,000 barrels a day.
As a result of the transaction, Parkmead has increased proved and probable reserves to 27.9mln barrels of oil equivalent from 23.5mln.
On the down side, Plant Health Care (LON: PHC), dropped over 30% to 19.25p as the firm, which specialises in patent-protected biological products to global agriculture markets.
FTSE 100 was pushing its head above water in early deals as traders await UK jobs data.
The office for national statistics is due to publish the rate of unemployment, average weekly earnings and the claimant count.
FTSE 100 is up a fairly unconvincing 0.08% to 6,671 after falling yesterday, along with global equity markets.
In small caps, shares are also nudging higher. The FTSE AIM 100 is up 0.11% to 3,798, while the FTSE AIM All share is 0.14% higher - at 802.740.
The standout gainer was Premier African Minerals plc (LON:PREM) whose shares shot up almost 27% to 0.48p.
It told investors this morning that it had kicked off a 20 hole diamond drill programme at its Zulu project - regarded as potentially the largest undeveloped lithium bearing pegmatite in Zimbabwe.
The work is aimed at producing a maiden resource and testing extensions to the 3.5km surface strike length.
Also David Lenigas, a well-known figure in the resource sector, has been hired as a consultant to carry out an independent review for the project - looking at potential strategic investors or joint ventures as well as financing.
StratMin Global Resources Plc (LON: STGR) added over 30% to 2.125p as it completed the disposal of graphite subsidiary Graphmada to Bass Metals Ltd.
But the group said there had "undoubtedly" been a cooling in demand for new private commercial buildings before and after the June 23 vote.
It also said the rate at which work was coming through the public sector remained slower than expected.
On big cap front, miners were the big winners, with the biggest gainer on Footsie Glencore (LON:GLEN), up 3.33% to 182.95p.
Dalradian Resources Inc (LON:DALR) added over 3% in London to 87.7p as investors were encouraged by latest test stope results at its mine project in Northern Ireland.
Opening snapshot at 8.15am
The FTSE 100 opened 15 points higher this morning at 6,680.
The top winner was Glencore (LON:GLEN) up 1.6% to 180p.
London market preview at 7.00am
London’s blue chips are set to rally this morning after health concerns surrounding US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton sent global stock markets tumbling Tuesday.
Financial spread bet firms predict FTSE 100 will claw back nearly all of the 35 point drop to 6,665 seen yesterday.
Clinton’s campaign team shrugged off her diagnosis of pneumonia, but markets saw it as a major boost to controversial rival Donald Trump.
US shares tumbled overnight on that thought with the Dow Jones Industrial Average 258 points or 1.4% down at 18,066.
The two other major indices also saw falls of more than 1%.
It was a similar story in Asia where only Hong Kong managed to stay in black numbers. Tokyo and Shanghai both nursed losses of more than 0.5%.
On the corporate front, it’s a retail day in the UK.
Homeware retailer Dunelm Group posts finals and Numis Securities expects the group to report pre-tax profits of about £130mln, against £121.4mln last time.
Gold: Gained US$4 to 1,322 per oz
Silver: Gained US$0.13 to US$18.87 per oz
Oil: West Texas gained US$0.29 to US$45.19 per barrel