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11 Dec 2018 | 11:57

FTSE 100 gathers steam as pound claws back some losses

The FTSE 100 was higher by lunchtime, up 1.3% to 6,810.83, after a strong finish to trading on Wall Street last night.

Sterling was able to claw back some losses from yesterday's Brexit inspired plunge to a 20-month low on positive UK wage data.

US futures are pointing to a higher open later across the pond, amid reports of further communication between the US and China on trade.

LARGE AND MID CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Advertising firm WPP gained 6.8% as new chief executive Mark Read unveiled a restructure plan that involved spending £300m over the next three years to boost efficiency and sharpen the company's offering.

Industrial equipment rental company Ashtead rose 3.6% to £16.65 on guiding that it expected its full-year results to exceed its expectations, as first-half profit rose by 25% on the back of stronger sales in North America.

Security services provider Serco climbed 3.4% to 87p after it won contract extensions with Peterborough city and Lincolnshire county, worth a combined £135m.

Gambling company 888 gained 5.9% to 163p on news that it had acquired the remaining 53% stake in All American Poker Network for $28m, expanding its footprint in the US.

Intellectual property support services provider RWS gained 2.1% to 477.5p after the acquisition of language services group Moravia drove a 17% rise in profit.

SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Embattled flooring retailer Carpetright rose 10.4% to 18.1p, despite posting a deeper first-half loss, as it met cost-cutting targets and the rate of sales decline slowed in the second quarter.

Bio-marker company Oxford BioDynamics booked an annual loss as it increased spending on R&D and staff while revenue remained flat. The company's shares were up 1.5% to 205.9p

Online retailer MySale tumbled 50% to 17.3p as warned that it expected to book a first-half underlying loss, amid 'challenging' conditions during its peak second-quarter trading period.

Story provided by StockMarketWire.com
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