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15 Mar 2019 | 16:58

Global stocks rise on trade war talks optimism

Global equities were a sea of green on reports that the US and China may make progress on trade war talks. By the close, the FTSE 100 was up 0.6% at 7,228.

In the US, the reports helped overshadow disappointing US economic data as the Dow Jones rose 0.8% to 25,913.

Brent crude oil slipped 0.3% to $67 per barrel.


Pub owner JD Wetherspoon ticked up 2.8% 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 7.9% 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 leisure company, EI Group, was also on the rise, advancing 6.3% to 213.7p after it launched an up to £35m share buyback.

High-end housebuilder Berkeley gained 1.9% to £39.81 as it reiterated its previously upgraded guidance for 8% growth in annual profit.


Shares in Interserve were suspended, down 34.3% at 6.3p after the majority of shareholders the board's rescue plan.

Recruitment group SThree advanced 0.7% after it boosted gross profit by 9% in the first quarter on-year, driven by strong growth in contract employment.

Proton Power Systems jumped 3.1% 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 5.4% to 87.5p on news that its motion measurement unit Vicon had signed a contract with Sandbox VR.

Content producer Zinc Media Group fell 5.5% as its annual losses deepened.

Oil explorer Bahamas Petroleum fell by 35.3% to 1.6p as it announced a $2.5m fundraise by issuing new shares at 1.6p to keep it ticking over while it looks to secure a partner to drill a well off the coast of The Bahamas.

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