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Oil price recovery aids Footsie

A bounce back oil prices pushed London shares higher at the close but the UK benchmark still closed lower on the day....

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Footsie closed down on the day but was aided by increased oil price

A bounce back oil prices pushed London shares higher at the close but the UK benchmark still closed lower on the day.

FTSE 100 closed  8.54 points down, or 0.14% to 6,126, with miner making a comeback after falls earlier.

After previously seeing sub-$40 Brent crude recovered slightly by Wednesday afternoon.

News of a reduction in US crude stockpiles helped a little, and so did economic stats out of Japan which point to better demand-side prospects in Asia.

"The rebound in commodities stocks has hauled the FTSE higher this afternoon, marking a remarkable reversal of fortunes given the double-digit losses previously suffered this morning," said Joshua Mahony, at IG Index.

News that China’s consumer price index rose 1.5% last month from a year earlier, according to official stats, also bolstered sentiment.

The biggest gainer was Ashtead Group (LON: AHT), which revealed it had a strong first half to its financial year, with revenues up 18% and earnings up 22%.

The equipment hire firm reported rental revenue of £589mln in the second quarter, up from £477.9mln in the same period of 2014, while for the six month period revenue amounted to £1.12bn compared to £895.6mln last year. Shares were up 8.63% at 1,120p.

The biggest laggard was Capita (LON:CPI), which shed 2.97% to 1,178p. Among the gainers, Rio Tinto (LON:RIO), up 3.88% and Glencore (LON:GLEN), up 4.57% both fared well.

Anglo American (LON:AAL) finished down 1.22% having earlier been the biggest loser on the index again on Wednesday.

In the small cap space, specialist holiday group On the Beach (LON:OTB) said trading had been unaffected by the terrorist attacks in Tunisia, Egypt and Paris as it posted strong annual earnings. Shares gained over 14% to 192p each.

Also higher was Solgold (LON:SOLG), which uncovered on-surface copper and gold mineralisation at its Trivino target on the Cascabel Project in Northern Ecuador. Shares nudged almost 4% higher to around 1.37p.

FinnAust Mining (LON:FAM) shares skyrocketed over 118% to 1.20p as it revealed it was set to buy a titanium project in Greenland as it turns attention to high growth opportunities.

The group also announced a boardroom reshuffle and a placing to raise £200,000.

Liberia focused gold miner Aureus Mining (LON:AUE) shares added almost 9% to 4.75p as it raised US$12.7mln, more than it was aiming for, through the equity part of its recent funding.

Directors took up notable amounts in the 5p per share placing led by chief executive David Reading who increased his holding by two and half times through the acquisition of 660,000 placing shares.

Liberia focused gold miner Aureus Mining (LON:AUE) shares added almost 9% as it raised US$12.7mln, more than it was aiming for, through the equity part of its recent funding.

Sigma Capital (LON: SGM), which provides private rented sector housing (PRS), said building had already started on around 900 new homes across the north west of England in a programme endorsed by the UK government. Its shares gained 5.54% to 81p each.

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