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25 Nov 2019 | 08:58

UK stocks open 0.7% higher on US-China trade hopes

UK stocks made a positive start to the week amid rising hopes that the US and China are closing in on a trade truce.

At 0849, the benchmark FTSE 100 index was up 50.78 points, or 0.7%, at 7.377.59.

Optimism was sparked by US national security adviser Robert O'Brien saying over the weekend that an initial trade agreement with China was still possible by the end of the year.

Food-delivery company Just Eat added 0.2% to 754.4p after it officially rejected a 710p a share takeover offer from Prosus, saying that it was inferior to a rival bid from Takeaway.com.

Fresh cream cakes retailer Cake Box puffed 5.2% higher to 146.25p on announcing a 27% rise in first-half profit, driven by the rollout of new stores and buoyant sales from existing outlets.

German property investor Sirius Real Estate gained 1.2% to 77.2 after it raised its dividend by 8.6% amid an improved profit performance in the first half.

NewRiver REIT firmed 1.5% to 182.2p on announcing that it had exchanged contracts to acquire Sprucefield Retail Park in Lisburn, Northern Ireland from Intu Properties for £40m.

Online fashion retailer Asos gained 0.6% to 3.131,76 as it appointed Robert Birge as its first chief growth officer.

Birge had recently served as an executive and adviser for various tech startups including US online health startup Blink Health and had previously served as chief marketing officer at travel site Kayak and media agency IMG.

Information business Euromoney Investors fell 0.2% to £12.76 on announcing that it had acquired Wealth-X, a data source about wealthy individuals, for $20.4m.

Billing and customer management service provider Cerillion climbed 4.6% to 194.5p as its annual profit rose by more than a third, led by revenue growth in its software division.

Construction company Northern Bear shed 6.7% to 68.08p as it reported a 22% fall in first-half profit owing to contracting delays, though it said its performance had picked up in the second quarter.

Gambling technology supplier Sportech gained 0.6% to 32.97p, having guided for annual adjusted operating earnings ahead of its expectations.

Chemicals company investor Wilmcote slid 14% to 45p after it reported a first-half loss and said it was planning a £6.5m recapitalisation to help it pursue acquisition opportunities.

IT services provider SysGroup added 1.0% to 36.38p, even as it booked a first-half loss owing to expenses, including acquisition, property exit and restructuring costs. The higher expenses had offset a 60% jump in revenue.

Live data company WANdisco gained 10% to 380p on announcing that it would raise around $16.5m from a share issue to support its relationships with cloud partners and provide growth working capital.

New shares in the company would be issued at 425p each, a 23% premium to their closing price on Friday. Story provided by StockMarketWire.com
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