UK stocks got off to a strong start on Friday as lingering fears of a no-deal Brexit kept the pound under pressure, assisting exporters.

The pound slumped by around half a US cent after Bank of England policy committee member Michael Saunders indicated that UK interest rates may be cut due to Brexit uncertainty.

At 8:48am, the benchmark FTSE 100 index was up 66.62 points, or 0.9%, at 7.417.70.

Marine services group James Fisher (FSJ) gained 1.5% to £20.755 on news that it had won a 'multi-million pound' contract for the design and build of submarine rescue equipment.

Water and waste-management group Pennon (PNN) added 1% to 800.4p on announcing that it would review its capital allocation policy amid a 'strong' financial performance.

Veterinary company CVS rallied 8.9%, as it posted a 15% rise in annual profit, buoyed by a significant improvement in its second-half performance. The stock is was changing hands at 982.5p.

Funeral group Dignity (DTY) rose 1.1% to 515.5p after it appointed former London Stock Exchange director Clive Whiley as its new chairman.

Broking house Numis (NUM:AIM) shed 0.9% to 239.5p, as it warned that it expected to report a fall in annual profit, as political uncertainty in the UK continued to hurt trading volumes.

Wind-power investor The Renewable Infrastructure Group (TRIG) fell 3.9% to 127.09p after it launched a share issue at 123p to help pay down debt and fund new acquisitions.

Heating product hire company Andrew Sykes (ASY:AIM) sank 18% to 517p, as a mild winter cut demand for its products and sent its profits south.

Learning and skills development company Malvern International (MLVN:AIM) rose 5% to 2.1p, despite posting a first-half loss owing to a write off the value of its Malaysian assets.

The company also posted a 33% rise in revenue that was slightly ahead of its expectations.

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Issue Date: 27 Sep 2019