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15 Jan 2019 | 08:52

UK stocks open 0.4% higher ahead of key Brexit vote

UK stocks opened stronger on Tuesday amid hopes China would further stimulate its economy, and as investors braced for a milestone UK parliamentary vote on Theresa May's Brexit deal.

At 0843, the benchmark FTSE 100 index was up 27.51 points, or 0.4%, at 6,882.53.

House builder Persimmon gained 1.4% after it said it expected its annual profit to be 'modestly' ahead of current market expectations, as higher home completions and selling prices boosted revenue.

Online retailer Boohoo reversed 2.0%, despite it upgrading its full-year sales guidance, as investors focused on a narrowing of its margin guidance.

Boohoo shares had also had a good run in the two weeks leading up to the sales update.

Sub-prime lender Provident Financial tumbled 20% on announcing that it expected its annual profits to come in at the lower end of expectations, amid a rise in sour loans.

Recruitment group Hays added 2.2% after revealing its second-quarter net fee income had been bolstered by growth in its international businesses.

Asset manager Ashmore softened 2.5% even as its second-quarter assets under management were buoyed by net inflows, offsetting a negative investment performance.

Real estate adviser Savills shed 1.8%, despite the company forecasting growth in both annual revenue and underlying profits following a 'robust' closing quarter.

Communications technology group Spirent Communications rallied 7% on announcing that it expected to exceed market expectations with an around 30% rise in annual operating profit.

Residential property developer Watkin Jones gained 1.1% as it posted a rise in annual profits 'slightly ahead' of its previous expectations, driven by strong student accommodation sales.

Board game supplier Games Workshop lost 0.5% as it boosted its first-half profit by around 7%.

Housing and care sector support services provider Mears dropped 4.0% after it announced that trading in 2018 met its expectations in a 'competitive' environment. Story provided by
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