Market Report: The revival of Man Group continued as its main fund raced ahead

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The Independent Online

The turnaround at Man Group continues, with investors cheering news of strong growth in the hedge fund's flagship fund. AHL Diversified posted its best start to the year since 2008, advancing 9 per cent in the first six months of 2014.

The $11.3bn (£6.6bn) fund uses computer models to spot trades in bond, commodity and currency markets. Its performance sent Man Group surging 6.5p to 113.8p. The company has risen over 30 per cent so far this year.

The FTSE 100 recorded its best close in three weeks thanks to better than expected US jobs numbers. The blue-chip index closed up 48.84 points at 6,865.21, around 13 points off a fresh 14-year high.

Sports Direct bounced 41p to 769p, with investors hoping for a return to normal now that founder Mike Ashley's pay dispute has been settled. There have been murmurings in the City that the discount chain could be gearing up for an acquisition in Europe.

Chilean miner Antofagasta leapt 38.5p to 820p, a three-month high, in brisk trade thanks to surging copper prices.

Ocado, which posted its maiden profits at the start of the week, marked its second day of strong gains, up 36.2p at 440p. The online grocer has long been a target of short-sellers, who bet on falling prices, and traders put yesterday's jump down to a squeeze on these sceptics. Those who bet against the company are cutting their losses by buying up shares, driving them higher.

New World Resources, the Czech coalminer, carried on tumbling on the small-cap index, off 7.5p at 12.75p, after warning earlier in the week that investors would be diluted by a rights issue.

Blinkx founder Subhransu Mukherjee increased his holding in the advertising technology company after it took a hammering on Wednesday following a profit warning. Mukherjee spent £85,000 on shares in Blinkx, down 0.75p at 30.75p.

Snoozebox, the temporary accommodation provider, added 0.12p to 8.62p thanks to a five-year deal with Silverstone. Last year it suffered "serious financial and commercial issues" that led to the departure of its chief executive and finance boss and forced it to tap investors for £9.5m.