StockMarketWire.com - A lack of nasty surprises on the geo-political front helped global stocks on Monday.

On the London market Petra Diamonds (PDL) dropped 6.2% to 84.4p after the Tanzanian authorities blocked the export of diamonds from its Williamson mine.

Media reports over the weekend that embattled Provident Financial (PFG) was planning widespread changes to bounce back from previous profit warnings were celebrated by the market. Shares in the doorstep lender rose by 6.3% to 823.5p.

Insurance stocks also regained some ground after Lloyd's of London CEO Inga Beale reassured the market over the impact of Hurricane Irma. Beazley was up 4.3% to 470.2p.

The blue-⁠⁠⁠⁠chip index remained above 4,700 at the close.

OVERSEAS MARKETS

North Korea's decision not to hold a missile test to mark the anniversary of the founding of the state saw markets breath a sigh of relief. Investor sentiment was upbeat in Asia, with Japan's Nikkei 225 up 1.4% to 19,545 this morning.

In the US, the S&P 500 opened up 0.9% at 2,482.42 as Hurricane Irma was downgraded to a tropical storm.

FTSE 100 RISERS AND FALLERS

Primark owner Associated British Foods (ABF) failed to impress the market despite guiding for adjusted operating profit will be well ahead of last year. Shares in the firm slipped 5.2% lower to £31.

Pharma firm AstraZeneca (AZN) reported successful results from trials of new lung cancer treatments, boosting the shares by 2.5% to £48.93. It was welcome news after a previous clinical trial to treat lung cancer failed.

UK supermarket Sainsbury's (SBRY) announced that Jo Harlow will join the board as a non-executive director with immediate effect, but this failed to move the share price at 236.7p.

SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

A warning of no sales growth at UP Global Sourcing (UPGS) spooked investors as the stock crashed 45.6% to 114.1p. The general merchandising firm said retailers were cautious of buying non-food stock too far forward, which would hit sales in the year to July 2018.

Oil explorer Jersey OIl & Gas (JOG) also struggled on news that its Verbier well was likely to be 'plugged and abandoned'. The disappointing update wiped nearly 70% of the company's value as investors headed for the exit.