Glencore was hit by falling prices for cobalt and copper during the first half of 2019, driving its earnings substantially lower.

Shares in the mining firm slipped lower on Wednesday after it reported a 32% decline in earnings to $5.6 billion US (£4.6 billion).

Earnings fell below analyst expectations as its African mines also delivered a poor performance, with its copper division for the continent reporting a $315 million (£259 million) loss over the period due to higher costs and lower prices.

The company, which has 150 mining sites across the world, said the figures "reflected a challenging economic backdrop", but it was confident its commodity mix "will continue to play a key role in global growth".

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It was reported Glencore is to stop production at the world's largest cobalt mine, the Mutanda mine in Democratic Republic of Congo 

Shares in Glencore were down 4.1% at 221.8p.

Recruitment firm Page Group has reported higher revenue and profit for the first half, despite Brexit uncertainty holding both employers and candidates back from making big decisions.

Revenue was up 9.5% to £820.5 million in the six months to the end of June.

Pre-tax profits jumped 10.9% to £74.6 million.

Shares in the company were up 2.8% in early trading on Wednesday as it also announced a special dividend of 12.73p per share on top of an interim payment of 4.3p per share.

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The stronger performance came despite political headwinds in the UK, which made up 16% of the group's gross profit.

Gross profit was down 0.3% to £69.4 million, as Brexit affected decision-making among both clients and candidates at the more senior end of the market.

Property development firm Henry Boot saw shares rise after it announced plans to hire British Land's Tim Roberts as its next chief executive officer.

It told investors on Wednesday that Mr Roberts will take over the role in January 2020, following the departure of current chief John Sutcliffe.

Mr Sutcliffe will stay in the role for the rest of the year to drive current growth initiatives and operating plans, Henry Boot said.

Mr Roberts joins the construction business after spending 15 years running British Land's office team as well as developing the strategy for its successful London office business.

Mr Roberts said: "I am very excited to be joining such a long-standing, well established business which, over the years, has generated strong financial performance." Shares in Henry Boot were up 4.5% at 245p.