The FTSE 100 took its lead from positive trading in Asia overnight amid hopes the Chinese economy is stabilising, helping the blue-chip index rise 0.4% to 7,465 at around midday.

US futures rose, implying Wall Street will gain momentum when it opens later as investors await the latest financial results from the likes of Bank of America and Johnson and Johnson.

Brent crude oil was stable at $71.14 per barrel.


JD Sports Fashion gained 4.8% after it reported a 15% jump in annual profit that beat its own recently-upgraded expectations.

Galliford Try tumbled 18.2% after it warned on profits and said it had launched a strategic review that could see it shrink the size of its construction arm.

Security specialist G4S reported sales increased 4.8% in the first quarter of 2019 versus the same period a year earlier, citing growth in its Secure Solutions and Cash Solutions arms. Shares in the firm advanced 0.9%.

Rio Tinto retreated 0.2% after a downgrade to its annual iron-ore production guidance following cyclones in Australia's Pilbara region wasn't as bad as feared. Output for most other commodities, including copper and bauxite, rose during the first quarter.

Premier Oil advanced 1.6% after a new side-track well offshore Mexico confirmed the quality of recent discoveries in the area.

Recruitment consultant Hays fell 3.6% after investors were left disappointed with a 6% rise in like-for-like net fee income in the first quarter.

Card Factory firmed 6.6% as it booked an expected 7.3% fall in annual profit, but also suggested it could have another special dividend in the kitty for investors this year.

Emerging markets asset manager Ashmore gained 3.5% as its assets under management increased by 11% in the first quarter, amid net inflows of $5bn and a positive investment performance of $3.6bn.

Sub-prime lender Provident Financial once again urged its shareholders to reject a hostile takeover bid from Non-Standard Financial, with chairman Patrick Snowball describing the bid as 'dreadful' in a letter to investors. Provident shares rose 0.4% while NSF shares fell 0.4%.


Professional services company Parity Group sank 10.8% after the loss of a key contract prompted a steep fall in its annual profit.