UK stocks opened higher on Friday, tracking gains in other European exchanges, as investors braced for Prime Minister Theresa May to potentially announce later in the day when she would stand down. At 0847, the benchmark FTSE 100 index was up 40.03 points, or 0.6%, at 7.271.07. Parents and young children focused retailer Mothercare rallied 14%, despite reporting a deeper annual loss, as it beat its cost cutting targets and slashed its debt pile. Events and business information company Informa gained 1.4% as it reported 'steady trading' in the first four months of the year that put it on track to grow revenue and profits. Rival company Tarsus jumped 37% after it agreed to be acquired by Private equity firm Charterhouse Funds for £561m in cash. Instrumentation and controls company Spectris gained 1.2% on reporting a 3% boost in like-for-like sales in the year to date, despite 'an anticipated moderation in certain end markets'. Train and bus company Stagecoach added 0.7% on announcing that it and partners SNCF and Virgin had commenced legal action against the UK government over their exclusion from bidding for a rail franchise opportunity. Premium carbonated drinks firm Fevetree was broadly flat after it announced confidence in achieving results that matched expectations in 2019. The company added that it was 'mindful of last year's exceptional summer trading performance in the UK' assisted by a bout of warm weather. Security services company Westminster gained 6.8% after rising contract revenue helped it narrow its annual losses. Oil company Aminex shed 1.9% on announcing that chief executive Jay Bhattacherjee had stood down due to health reasons. Victoria Oil & Gas dropped 6.4% as it booked a full-year loss, after a key customer in Cameroon did not renew a supply agreement, reserves fell and drilling costs rose. Industrial and property services group Hargreaves Services advanced 0.8% after it sold land at its Blindwells site to housebuilder Bellway.
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