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The Independent Online

The faintest glimmer of hope in a possible  European Union deal with Greece helped close out a fairly lacklustre day on the stock markets.

Leaked emails from Greek officials that a deal over its looming debt deadline day could be completed by Sunday helped the FTSE 100 finish up 7.59 points at 7040.92, although some quarters mocked the rumours which seem to pop up almost every day.

Talks among the world’s top finance ministers and central bankers continued in Dresden.

Talking of fanciful outcomes – eyes were also on the Falkland Islands, where an “exciting new oil play” was unveiled north of the territories by Premier Oil, Falkland Oil and Gas and Rockhopper Exploration.

The stocks are some of the most widely speculated on the market, with many believing significant  returns can be made – assuming the Argentinians do not threaten all-out war or trigger further legal disputes (as has been their favoured approach in  recent years).

Rockhopper closed up 2.57p at 63.32p, Premier Oil rose 3.4p to 159.2p although FOGL investors were more cautious with shares down 1.1p to 29.4p.

Elsewhere in the markets, the heavyweight mining stocks slipped south over their exposure to China, the major resources consumer in the market, where there has been a dramatic equities sell-off.

The Shanghai Composite index dropped 6.5 per cent, in its biggest single day fall since January, sending mining investors scurrying for cover.

Anglo American fell 5.5p to 1035p; Glencore was down 1p at 285.75p and Antofagasta lost 5.5p at 756p.

Among the mid-caps, payments firm Paypoint jumped an impressive 72p to 950p on the back of strong results coming from its Romanian business, which is growing from strength to strength.

The company revealed pretax profits rose 7.7 per cent to £49.6m in a year when it also sold its parking and online business, which analysts welcomed.

Interdealer broker Icap suffered a 10p decline to 556p after Numis cut it to Sell from Hold.