UK stocks edge 0.1% higher amid US-China trade optimism

Tue, 5th Nov 2019

UK stocks opened modestly higher on Tuesday amid increasing optimism that the US and China can forge a trade deal. At 0853, the benchmark FTSE 100 index was up 10.16 points, or 0.1%, at 7.379.85. Associated British Foods rallied 4.1% to £23.40, as it reported a higher adjusted annual profit, buoyed by rising earnings at clothing retailer Primark. The company also said that it expected the performance of its lagging sugar division to improve in the current financial year, though it warned a weaker pound would pressure Primark's margins. Tobacco giant Imperial Brands gained 0.6% to £17.48, even as it offered a more cautious outlook after its annual operating earnings fell amid pressure on its vaping business. The company also announced that it had appointed current director Therese Esperdy to succeed Mark Williamson as chairman. Engineering company Weir rose 0.4% to £14.38, despite warning that annual operating profits in its oil and gas division would be below previous expectations owing to weakness in US shale markets. Power utility National Grid fell 0.1% to 896.2p after announcing that the head of its US business, Dean Seavers, was standing down with immediate effect for personal reasons. Serviced office specialist IWG fell 1.0% to 391.2p, even as it reported a 13.2% rise in third-quarter revenue. Train and bus ticketing platform Trainline reversed 1.9% to 413p after it posted a deeper first-half loss, largely owing to costs associated with its initial public offering that offset a rise in sales. Consumer goods group UP Global Sourcing, also known as Ultimate Products, climbed 6% to 82.15p as it booked a 51% jump in annual profit buoyed by a doubling of its international revenue. Tiling retailer Topps Tiles slid 1.6% to 72p on announcing that chief executive Matt Williams would stand down following the release of the company's annual results later this month. Williams would be replaced by current chief financial officer Rob Parker on 29 November. Budget carrier Ryanair fell 0.2% to 13.48c on reporting 5% growth in passenger volumes during the month of October on-year. Rival carrier Wizz Air edged up 0.1% to £39.07 after it flew 21% more passengers during October as it continued to beef up capacity. Nano materials group Nanoco jumped 4.7% to 15.71p on announcing that it had entered into preliminary discussions with 'certain parties' about a potential sale of the company. Story provided by StockMarketWire.com

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