Updates from HTC, William Hill and easyJet

Adrian Holliday

Strong gains for Sports Direct International, up +5.63% to 769p and Antofagasta, up +4.93% to 820p, helped the FTSE surge almost 50 points to 6,865.2 on Thursday. Imperial Tobacco Group also drew a +3.81% climb to 2698p.

More optimism across the water saw the Dow Jones break the 17,000 barrier yesterday - it ended, pre-Independence day, up 92 points at 17,068.2 thanks in part to more positive employment news. %VIRTUAL-SkimlinksPromo%