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2017-12-18 16:58:54

FTSE lifted by strong miners and housebuilders

The FTSE remained in positive territory thanks to gains in the mining and housebuilding sectors. A 2.7% rally in the price of platinum lifted shares in miner Anglo American (AAL) by 2.9% to 14.50. Shares in peers Fresnillo (FRES) and Randgold Resources (RRS) also jumped 2% and 1.3%, respectively. The housebuilding sector remained in favour, with Persimmon (PSN) up 2.2% at 26.85. Barratt Developments (BDEV) increased 2.4% to 641.5p and Taylor Wimpey (TW.) rose 1.7%. The blue-chip index closed 0.6% higher at 7,537. Brent crude oil increased 0.4% to $63.52 per barrel. Copper was flat at $3.11 per pound and gold glittered at $1,259 per ounce. OVERSEAS MARKETS Investors grew increasingly optimistic that US President Donald Trump's tax reform bill will be passed this week, prompting a strong performance on Monday. The biggest beneficiaries were the Dow Jones and Nasdaq, up 0.7% and 0.8% around 4:45pm UK time. MID AND LARGE CAP RISERS AND FALLERS New restrictions from the European Securities and Markets Authority hit IG (IGG), down 9.3% to 665p. The new rules restrict the offering of contracts for difference and binary options to retail clients. IG reported it expects no material impact on performance in the current financial year but conceded future trading was difficult to predict. Rival platform CMC Markets (CMCX) also suffered from the changes as the shares slumped 12.5% to 146.7p. Babcock (BAB) won a ten-year contract to supply equipment for the handling of nuclear material at Sellafield, worth up to 95m over the first three years. The contractor's shares rose 3.2% to 706.5p. Oil services firm Hunting (HTG) pleased the market after guiding 2017 earnings to hit the upper end of expectations as the shares rallied 6.2% to 586p. Drugs developer AstraZeneca (AZN) got a 0.6% boost to 49.11 following a regulatory green light for its Tagrisso lung cancer treatment. SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS BOS Global (BOS) announced it was in danger of its shares being suspended from trading on AIM if the company failed to complete its accounts by 29 December. Investors were concerned about the update as the stock plummeted 32.8% to 0.5p. Life sciences business ValiRx (VAL) secured approval to accelerate progress of a prostate cancer drug thanks to encouraging early results. Shares in ValiRx soared 20.4% to 6.6p on the news. Croma Security Solutions (CSSG) sealed a 27m contractor with an unnamed 'major UK local authority', helping to spur the stock 35.7% to 85.5p. Elsewhere, Earthport (EPO) warned that anticipated sales will be 10% to 15% below current expectations for the year to 30 June 2018, wiping off a third of its market value. Story provided by