Source - SMW
There was a sea of green across trading screens as global equities started to recover from a sell-off earlier this week with the FTSE 100 rising 0.6% to 7,004.

In Europe, Germany's DAX made bigger gains, up 0.9% at 11,296.

On Wall Street, the bounce back was even more pronounced with the Nasdaq jumping 2.6% to 7,291, followed by the S&P 500's 1.7% increase to 2,701 at around 4pm UK time.

Beleaguered UK department store group Debenhams shed 2% to 8.3p as it scrapped its dividend after reporting a full-year loss and said it would close up to 50 of its stores as it continued to grapple with a gloomy retail backdrop.


Lloyds Banking Group climbed 1.9% to 57.7p as it said its profits topped analysts' expectations in the third quarter despite falling modestly compared to a year earlier. The bank also announced that its chief financial officer, George Culmer, would retire in the third quarter of 2019.

BT Group slipped 3.8% to 240.5p as it said Thursday it had appointed Philip Jansen as chief executive. Following a handover period, Jansen would take over the role from Gavin Patterson on 1 February 2019, the company said.

Global advertising and PR firm WPP slumped 17.3% to 873.1p after it reported a continued slowdown in the third quarter, impacted by further weakening of the performance of its North American businesses and creative agencies, against a backdrop of structural change in the industry.

Plastic piping specialist Polypipe announced the acquisition of moulded plastic and metal products manufacturer Manthorpe Building Products for £52m, sparking gains of 11.7% to 343.8p. 

Insurance provider Hastings fell 13.6% to 200.2p as it said Thursday it expected the loss ratio for the full year would be at the lower end of the target range even as claims inflation continued to exceed premium inflation.

Chemicals company Elementis ticked up 3% to 203p after it said Thursday it was confident of making further financial and strategic progress for the rest of the year after reporting solid performance in the third quarter. 

Global professional services firm RPS slid 27.5% to 150p as it reported lower-than-expected profit before tax and amortisation in the third quarter of 2018 as strategic investments to drive sustainable growth impacted profitability.

Homebuilder Countryside Properties rose 2% to 275.4p as it said it had been selected as the development partner of Kingston Council to work with the council and local residents on the regeneration of the Cambridge Road Estate.


Gene and cell therapy group Oxford BioMedica was flat at 690p as it announced that its partner Axovant had successfully dosed the first patient in a clinical study for a novel gene therapy to treat patients with Parkinson's disease.