FTSE 100 closes up after making late gains

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The UK's main share index recovered in late afternoon trading to finish slightly ahead.

The FTSE 100 closed up 0.13%, or 9.3 points, at 7,322.8, led by building materials group CRH, up 2.9%.

Tobacco group Imperial Brands fell 4% after it said it would meet profit expectations for the year, though it noted a difficult market.

On the currency markets, the pound rose 0.34% against the dollar to $1.3432 and rose 0.07% on the euro to 1.1405 euros.

Gains among industrial stocks helped to boost the FTSE 250, which closed up 0.56% at 19,678.4.

Infrastructure firm Balfour Beatty was among the top gainers, jumping 5.6% after broker Peel Hunt upgraded the stock to "buy" from "add", citing the company's Investments division as a key driver of value.

Outsourcer Carillion surged 16%, taking its two-day gains to 37% after City AM newspaper reported on Wednesday that a Middle Eastern firm was preparing a bid for it.