UK stocks open higher ahead of UK retail sales data and fresh Brexit negotiations
Source - SMW
UK stocks are edging tentatively higher from the open on Thursday morning ahead of UK retail sales data and the start of a further round of Brexit negotiations.
At 0908, the benchmark FTSE 100 index was up 32.16 points, or 0.43%, at 7,530.03.
Kingfisher slumped 2.74% despite its return to like-for-like sales growth in the second quarter of the year. Warm weather fuelled a wave of sales at B&Q, though struggles in France kept a lid on growth.
Gambling company Rank Group plummeted 5.95% after it reported a hefty 40.7% drop in pre-tax profits to £50.1m in the first half of a "challenging" 2018. It attributed this to a "disappointing performance" at Grosvenor and a drop in visitors to its Mecca Bingo halls.
KAZ Minerals leapt 6.36% as it announced a jump in pre-tax profits supported by a ramp-up of volumes at Aktogay, higher commodity prices and continued low unit production costs.
RHI Magnesita fell 2.78% despite a 24.6% increase in revenue to €1,508m for the six months ending 30 June 2018 as price increases and volume growth in its steel and industrial divisions offset higher input costs.
Specialist landscape products group Marshalls plc climbed 5.4% as it saw operating profits rise 12% to £33.5m in the first half of 2018 as revenue remained healthy despite the impact of the severe weather.
Food tech company BigDish rose 3.59% as it said it had completed the acquisition of Looloo, a web and app-based restaurant and travel discovery business focused in the Philippines.
Digital automotive marketplace Auto Trader Group edged 0.59% higher after announcing it had entered into an agreement to create a joint venture with Cox Automotive to provide a digital marketplace for wholesale vehicles in the UK.