The FTSE 100 enjoyed strong gains on Friday morning, up 0.9% to 7,307.15 in early trading as hopes of a US-China trade deal were revived somewhat overnight.

A quiet day for corporate news is dominated by boardroom appointments at two FTSE 100 firms. Developer and regeneration group St Modwen Properties (SMP) says that chief executive Mark Allan was leaving to take up the same role at Land Securities (LAND). St Modwen shares dip 2.5% to 445.5p, while Land Securities is up 0.5% to 909.6p.

Allan will depart at the end of May 2020. He had previously served as CEO of student accommodation developer Unite (UTG).

'He has demonstrated strong management skills and the strategic insights that we believe will build on the strengths of our business today and be invaluable for the next phase of Landsec's evolution,' Land Securities chairman Cressida Hogg says.

Property website Rightmove (RMV) says chairman Scott Forbes will retire at the end of the year after 14 years in post and be replaced by Andrew Fisher.

Fisher was previously chief executive of mobile consumer brand Shazam and is currently a director of Marks & Spencer (MKS) and (MONY). Rightmove shares tick up 0.6% to 622p.

Industrial thread business Coats (COA) slumps 9.9% to 66.7p as it warns on profit as sales slowed in its Apparel and Footwear and Performance Materials businesses amid ‘challenging’ market conditions. Adjusted operating profit for the year to 30 September is expected to come in at $196m to $201m, below expectations.

Online gambling software provider Playtech (PTEC) expects its annual adjusted operating earnings to be 'a little below' current market consensus. The shares falling 4.1% in response to 393.5p.

In a trading update for the four months through October, the company said trading within its core business-to-business gambling and Snaitech units continued to exceed management expectations.

However, trading conditions at equities division TradeTech had been 'highly challenging' during September and October.

Playtech says it is 'evaluating all options' for that business and that it is also reviewing options for its casual and social gaming business, including a possible sale of all or part of that unit.

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Issue Date: 22 Nov 2019