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10 Apr 2019 | 08:54

FTSE posts modest gains as May contemplates long Brexit delay

UK stocks opened modestly higher on Wednesday amid growing expectations that European leaders would ask the UK to accept a long Brexit delay.

At 0850, the FTSE 100 was up 5.83 points at 7.431.40.

Tesco gained 1.3% after the supermarket giant beat expectations with a 29% jump in annual profit to £1.67bn and almost doubled its dividend.

Pharmaceutical company Indivior crashed 56% after it was charged with criminal offenses in the US including mail, wire and health fraud. The company denied the allegations.

Rolls-Royce fell 0.5% on revealing that it would start inspecting Trent 1000 TEN aircraft engines, after blade deterioration was identified in a 'small population' of the products.

Stagecoach reversed 3.6% after it was disqualified by the UK government from three franchise competitions because it had submitting non-compliant bids mostly related to pensions risk.

Homewares retailer Dunelm advanced 2.9% after it upgraded its profit outlook, thanks to a stronger market and the closure of its Worldstores businesses.

Fashion retailer Ted Baker gained 2.0% on news that it had agreed to form a joint venture for the Chinese market with Shanghai LongShang Trading Company.

AstraZeneca gained 0.2% after it and partner Merck gained European regulatory approval for a breast cancer treatment.

Retirement home developer and manager McCarthy & Stone fell 0.6% as it posted a 66% drop in first-half profit, after rising revenue was offset by restructuring costs.

Recruitment company PageGroup gained 1.1% on the back of an 11% rise in first-quarter gross profit, driven by strong growth in overseas markets.

Cosmetics retailer Warpaint London shed 1.9% after it booked a 32% fall in annual profit, hurt by acquisition and impairment expenses.

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