Bank rally pushes FTSE higher

Banking stocks were the biggest gainers on the blue chip index, with Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), HSBC (HSBA) and Barclays (BARC) rising between 4% and 5%.

West Texas Intermediate crude oil slumped 2% to $50.73 and Brent crude oil fell 1.9% to $54 per barrel, respectively.

Gold declined 0.3% to $1,170 per ounce and copper retreated 0.9% to $5,864 per tonne.

FTSE 100 RISERS AND FALLERS

Equipment rental firm Ashtead’s (AHT) strong run continued on upbeat half year figures with underlying pre-tax profit up 9% to £426m. CEO Geoff Drabble said full year results will be ahead of expectations with both divisions outperforming and Ashtead enjoying a positive boost from weaker sterling.

FTSE 250 RISERS AND FALLERS

Shares in stock market trading providers IG (IGG) and CMC Markets (CMCX) both crashed 38% after the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) threatened to impose new restrictions on how contract for difference (CFD) products work and the way they are marketed.

Biomass power generator Drax (DRX) powered 12% higher on its proposed acquisition of Opus Energy, a supplier of gas and electricity to small and medium sized businesses, for £340m.

SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Market trading provider Plus 500 (PLUS) suffered a 26% hit on the FCA announcement as investors were concerned about possible new restrictions on CFDs.

Sierra Rutile (SRX) announced its merger with Iluka is expected to close is expected to occur on 7 December, triggering a share price rise of 23.9% to 35p.

Graphics microchip designer Imagination Technologies (IMG) sparked 9.3% rise to 240.5p on half year results, which revealed a return to profitability driven by £27.5m of cost savings and aided by the strong dollar.

Specialist travel agent On The Beach (OTB) gained 7.2% on full year results that beat forecasts and were delivered despite testing industry conditions. It also announced a maiden final dividend of 2.2p.

Story provided by StockMarketWire.com