UK stocks open 0.3% higher amid heightened Brexit uncertainty
Source - SMW
UK stocks recouped some of their recent losses on Friday amid heightened uncertainty over the course of Brexit negotiations, triggered by Theresa May's sudden decision to delay a crucial vote on her deal with the EU.
At 0858, the benchmark FTSE 100 index was up 26.35 points, or 0.4%, at 6.747.89.
Advertising firm WPP gained 4.4% as new chief executive Mark Read unveiled a restructure plan that involved spending £300m over the next three years to boost efficiency and sharpen the company's offering.
Embattled flooring retailer Carpetright rose 8.8%, despite posting a deeper first-half loss, as it met cost-cutting targets and the rate of sales decline slowed in the second quarter.
Industrial equipment rental company Ashtead rose 2.7% on guiding that it expected its full-year results to exceed its expectations, as first-half profit rose by 25% on the back of stronger sales in North America.
Security services provider Serco climbed 1.4% after it won contract extensions with Peterborough city and Lincolnshire county, worth a combined £135m.
Gambling company 888 gained 3.0% on news that it had acquired the remaining 53% stake in All American Poker Network for $28m, expanding its footprint in the US.
Intellectual property support services provider RWS gained 2.4% after the acquisition of language services group Moravia drove a 17% rise in profit.
Bio-marker company Oxford BioDynamics booked an annual loss as it increased spending on R&D and staff while revenue remained flat. The company's shares were unchanged.
Australia-focused online retailer MySale tumbled 46% as warned that it expected to book a first-half underlying loss, amid 'challenging' conditions during its peak second-quarter trading period.
SQN Secured Income Fund said it planned to raise between £50m and £100m from a share issue in the first quarter of 2019 to target potential investment opportunities. Its shares gained 0.8%.