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15 Mar 2019 | 08:43

UK stocks open 0.6% higher after Brexit delayed

UK stocks opened higher on Friday after local politicians voted overwhelmingly to delay Brexit in the hope of avoiding a disorderly departure from the EU.

At 0839, the FTSE 100 index was up 39.41 points, or 0.6%, at 7.224.84.

Pub owner JD Wetherspoon gained 2.1%, despite reporting an expected fall in first-half profit, after its sales in the six weeks to 10 March jumped 9.6%, helped by 'excellent weather'.

Restaurant Group rallied 12% after it also revealed a recent sales boost. Annual profit slumped 51% owing to write-downs and expenses for acquiring Wagamama. But like-for-like sales rose 2.8% in the 10 weeks to 10 March.

Another pub company, Ei Group, was also having a good morning, rising 2.2% after it launched an up to £35m share buyback.

High-end housebuilder Berkeley gained 1.2% as it reiterated its previously upgraded guidance for 8% growth in annual profit.

Proton Power Systems jumped 11% on revealing that it had agreed to form a venture in the Czech Republic with Skoda Electric to develop fuel cell electric buses.

Software company Oxford Metrics gained 3.4% on news that its motion measurement unit Vicon had signed a contract with Sandbox VR.

Symphony Environmental Technologies gained 2.6%, despite posting a fall in annual profit, as it increased R&D investment in its biodegradable plastics technology.

Content producer Zinc Media Group slumped 14% as its annual losses deepened.

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