FTSE firms 0.4% on claims of US-China trade progress

Writer, Stock Market Wire
Friday, February 1, 2019 - 08:43

UK stocks opened higher on Friday after US and Chinese officials claimed to have made progress in trade talks, though the pound remained volatile amid ongoing fears of a potential no-deal Brexit.

At 0830, the benchmark FTSE 100 index was up 24.50 points, or 0.4%, at 6.993.35.

Broadband supplier TalkTalk slumped 8.9% after it warned that its annual earnings would fall short of market expectations due to investment spending and accounting changes.

Mining and trading house Glencore dropped 1.4% as it reported mostly higher annual production across the board as cobalt production surged, though oil production slipped.

Paddy Power Betfair said it had bought a 51% stake in Georgian online gambling company Adjarabet for £101m and had an option to acquire the rest of the company after three years. Its shares were unchanged.

Plastic packaging company and takeover target RPC posted a flat earnings performance in the third quarter, owing to higher polymer prices and weak Christmas trading. Its shares reversed 0.2%.

Power utility SSE said it had agreed sell a 49.9% stake in its Stronelairg and Dunmaglass wind farms in Scotland to Greencoat UK Wind and a partner for £635m. SSE rose 0.2% and Greencoat fell 1.4%.

Events and publishing company Informa announced it had sold its life sciences media brands portfolio to US-based MJH Associates for around $100m. Its shares rose 0.2%.

Real Good Food jumped 7.5% on announcing that it had sold loss-making frozen deserts producer Chantilly Patisserie to its management team for £0.2m.

Advertising firm M&C Saatchi gained 3.5% on news it had sold its remaining 24.9% stake in UK media agency Walker Media, trading as Blue 449, to Publicis Groupe for £25m.

Storage company Lok'nStore sold its document storage business Saracen Datastore to Iron Mountain for £7.6m. Its shares added 0.6%.