The FTSE 100 is up 0.8% to 7,526.48 after strong trading in Asia overnight and as negotiations on the UK's exit from the European Union are set to begin. Sterling held steady ahead of the talks.
Women's discount fashion shop Bonmarché's (BON) underlying full year pre-tax profit falls 40% to £6.3m. The shares are down a relatively modest 2.1% at 93p shored up by a maintained dividend and in-line guidance on current trading.
Oil producer Cairn Energy (CNE) ticks up 0.1% to 187.8p as it updates on its tax dispute with the Indian authorities. Cairn claims it is owed as much as $104m and the matter is now set to go independent arbitration at The Hague.
The Food & Drug Administration approval means its human retinal progenitor cells (hRPC) can be frozen for shipping and storage purposes and then thawed at the point of use.
Indian unconventional gas specialist Oilex (OEX:AIM) is the top AIM riser, up 25.7% to 0.22p as it announces the receipt of $1.41m from outstanding cash calls due from joint venture partners on its Cambay project. The outstanding balance is $5.68m.
Mining outfit Xtract Resources (XTR:AIM) is up 10.7% to 0.02p as it signs an agreement with two contract miners in Mozambique for the extraction of alluvial gold from a portion of its Manica mining concession. Once on stream Xtract expects monthly revenue from this arrangement of $165,000.