UK stocks opened higher on Thursday, led by a surge in Ferguson on news that Nelson Peltz’s Trian Fund Management had acquired a stake of about 6% in the plumbing products distributor. At 09:48, the benchmark FTSE 100 index was up 24.4 points, or 0.33%, at 7,389.8. Oil majors such as BP and Shell were also in focus, attempting to claw back losses from a day earlier amid a surge in oil prices on a suspected tanker attack in the Sea of Oman. Tesco rose 0.52% despite sales growth in its core UK business slowing in the first quarter, as investors were seemingly pleased that the supermarket had outperformed a 'subdued' grocery market. Morrisons rose 1.2% after the supermarket announced that it scale up its delivery partnership with Amazon, expanding their online groceries platform to new cities throughout the UK British American. Packaging firm DS Smith slipped 0.35% to as it reported a 35% increase in pre-tax profit for the 12 months to 30 April, although organic corrugated box volume growth did ease in the second half after a strong first half Personal healthcare product manufacturer PZ Cussons fell 3.5% despite leaving its full-year profit expectations unchanged amid disappointing performance in Africa. Retirement products company Just Group surged 15% after it said it would target further cost cuts in its US care business and UK income drawdown as part of a plan to achieve capital self-sufficiency by 2022. Cineworld fell 2.8% after it completed an additional sale and leaseback transaction relating to 18 US-based multi-screen cinemas totalling 255 screens for $270m. Model train maker Hornby fell 2.6% despite reporting narrower losses as its turnaround measures helped slash costs and improve margins offsetting a fall in revenues.
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