UK stocks opened stronger on Monday, tracking gains on European and Asian exchanges, as Theresa May entered a crucial week selling her Brexit deal to sceptical local lawmakers. At 0852, the benchmark FTSE 100 index was up 34.34 points, or 0.5%, at 7.048.22. Mining giant BHP Billiton added 0.9% as it reached an agreement with Australian authorities to settle a transfer-pricing dispute relating to its marketing operations in Singapore. Technical products supplier Diploma rallied 7.9% on the back of a 9% rise in annual profit driven by successful acquisitions. Engineering services company Babcock International climbed 1.0% after it denied a Sky News report that it would book a £100m impairment charge at its helicopter business. Social housing and aged-care services provider Mears fell 6.7% on news it had agreed to acquire assets and contracts from within Mitie's property management division for £22.5m. Mitie shares gained 0.5%. Land-mine detection group PipeHawk slumped 15% after it posted a deep annual loss driven by a slump in sales. Independent bank CYBG gained 1.0% despite announced that chief operating officer Debbie Crosbie was standing down. She would be replaced on an interim basis by innovation director Fraser Ingram. German property investor Sirius Real Estate gained 2.2% as it posted a 43% rise in first-half profit owing to higher rental income and favourable revaluations. Sound Energy plunged 36% on news that it had failed to establish the presence of producible gas at the first of three planned wells at the Tendrara prospect in the Morocco.
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