UK stocks continued last week’s optimistic tone on Monday after China released positive factory data, though US-Sino relations remained strained following the arrest in Hong Kong of media tycoon Jimmy Lai under national security laws.
European markets were also boosted after US President Donald Trump signed an executive order to provide a fresh unemployment payment for those impacted by the coronavirus across the pond.
By 11.30, the benchmark FTSE 100 index was up 24.9 points, or 0.41%, at 6,057.09.
Fashion retailer Superdry (SDRY) leapt 20.7% to 142.3p even as its first quarter revenue slumped by almost a quarter, though the company said the fall wasn’t as deep as it had initially expected.
Superdry also announced that it had entered into a new £70 million financing facility with existing lenders HSBC and BNPP, extending the term until January 2023.
Shipping services provider Clarkson (CKN) rallied 11.3% to £23.38, having reinstated its dividend after a strong performance in its broking division bolstered its first half profit.
Clarkson would pay the equivalent of its deferred 2019 final dividend of 53p per share as an interim dividend. It also declared a further interim dividend of 25p, unchanged on-year.
Transport company FirstGroup (FGP) advanced 5.8% to 41.1p while welcoming an eight-week extension by the UK government of funding for the bus industry.
Power generation group ContourGlobal (GLO) edged up 1.4% to 204.25p as it maintained a commitment to grow its annual dividend by 10% after reporting a higher first half profit.
Professional services group Capita (CPI) firmed 2.8% to 38.1p on securing a £355 million contract extension with Transport for London to continue managing the city's congestion charge and low emissions zones.
Life sciences company investor Syncona (SYNC) shed 0.1% to 255.75p, even as it posted a positive return in the June quarter amid an increase in the value of its portfolio companies.
Syncona’s net asset value return for the three months through June was 13.5%, with net assets of £1.41 billion, or 210.7p per share.
Mining company Polymetal International (POLY) edged up 0.72% to £20.27 amid news it had formed a joint venture with Rosgeology to carry out exploration in Bashkortostan, Russia.
Subprime lender Morses Club (MCL:AIM) jumped 22% to 62.1p on announcing that its collections and sales were both on an improving trend.
Pharmaceutical services provider Open Orphan (ORPH:AIM) gained 4.8% to 14.1p after it won a £4m contract from a ‘top three’ global pharmaceutical company.
Clinical artificial intelligence technology group Sensyne Health (SENS:AIM) was unchanged at 32p, having reached a settlement agreement with former chief financial officer Lorimer Headley.