UK stocks open 0.1% higher

UK stocks opened stronger on Friday, boosted by gains in offshore markets and a soft pound.

At 0856, the benchmark FTSE 100 index was up 11.92 points, or 0.1%, at 7,707.80.

Low-cost airline easyJet climbed 0.8% after it carried 5.5% more passengers during the month of December and boosted its load factor by 1.5 percentage points.

Meat retailer Crawshaw Group reported a modest 0.6% boost in sales for the 15-week period to December 24, sending its shares down 3.3%.

Egdon Resources was one of the morning's biggest losers, though, falling 15% after the UK Planning Inspectorate rejected its appeals over the development of the Wressle oil disovery. Union Jack Oil, which also has a stake in the development, fell 28%.

Elsewhere, a profit upgrade helped boost shares in work wear provider Johnson Service Group by 1.7%.

Premier African Minerals, however, shed 11% after it suspended operations at its RHA tungsten operation in Zimbabwe due to poor ore grades.

Cairn Homes fell 3.5% despite reporting that annual revenues more than tripled to €149m.

A 42% boost in sales in the four months through December wasn't enough to help shares in online musical instrument retailer Gear4music, which fell 2.9%.

Blood-monitoring equipment minnow Deltex Medical Group tumbled 41% after it forecast losses for the year to be deeper than market forecasts.

Shares in San Leon Energy remained suspended after the company said discussions with two potential takeover suitors had been terminated.