UK stocks ended higher on Tuesday, with investors hoping for positive signs from an eagerly-awaited trade speech from President Trump and with the blue chip benchmark buoyed by well-received updates from telecoms giant Vodafone, television broadcaster ITV and Mr Kipling cakes maker Premier Foods.
At 16.35, the FTSE 100 index was up 36.9 points, or 0.50%, at 7,365.44.
LARGE AND MID CAP RISERS AND FALLERS
Vodafone rose 4.6% to 167.6p, even as it booked a first-half loss owing to an adverse court ruling in India.
The company also upgraded its adjusted earnings guidance for the full year as sales inched higher, supported by gains in South Africa, Spain and Italy.
Free-to-air broadcaster ITV firmed 1.7% to 138.2p after its third-quarter advertising revenue came in at the top end of its guidance range, supported by popular new shows.
Flexible power supplier Aggreko added 2.9% to trade at 820.2p after announcing that it was on track to hit its capital return targets in 2020, despite revenue slipping in the nine months through September.
Marketing services group DCC shed 5.6% to £69.58 on announcing that its health and beauty unit had acquired Ion Laboratories for $60m, boosting its offering in the US.
Pharmaceuticals group AstraZeneca edged 1% higher to £73.17, having announced that its lupus drug had shown superior results compared with a placebo in a clinical trial.
Industrial and electrical products distributor Electrocomponents dropped 11.2% to 626.8p after it reported a fall in half-yearly profit, as revenue growth was offset by asset write-downs following the collapse of British Steel.
Defence, aerospace and energy market component supplier Meggitt fell 3p to 626.4p, despite upgrading its annual revenue guidance. The company also warned that its operating margin would be at the lower end of its previous guidance range.
Plumbing and heating products powerhouse Ferguson firmed 1.1% to £68.06 on the acquisition of HVAC equipment and supplies distributor S.W. Anderson, a transaction that boosts its business in the large and attractive New York metro area.
Elsewhere, science tools marker Oxford Instruments sparked up 7.6% to £14.78 on the back of a 55% rise in first-half profit, driven by higher sales and an increase in the value of currency derivatives.
SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS
Premier Foods rallied 8.9% to 36.3p as it swung to a first-half profit amid higher sales of Mr Kipling cakes and Nissin pot noodles.
The company did not pay a dividend as it continued to focus on debt reduction, though recently-appointed chief executive Alex Whitehouse said it may start to see options for 'cash deployment' in future.
Online musical instruments seller Gear4music cheapened 11.3% to 215p despite reporting a strong recovery in first half gross profit, as the company downgraded its revenue expectations for the full year.
Online real estate portal OnTheMarket rose 4.4% to 72p as it signed a listing agreement with house builder Persimmon.
UK and Falkland Island services group FIH softened 3p to 321p after reporting a 7.6% drop in first half profit amid weakness at its art handling and ferry businesses.