StockMarketWire.com - The FTSE 100 was holding on to gains, up 0.8% to 7,172.03 by midday. This represented its highest level since early October with investors reacting positively to hints of progress on US-China trade.

After a strong showing overnight, US futures point to further gains when Wall Street reopens later today.

In London, shares with Chinese exposure like luxury goods firm Burberry and bank Standard Chartered managed strong gains. Tobacco firms Imperial Brands and British American Tobacco and utilities were on the back foot as investors rotated out of traditionally defensive stocks.

Among the mid caps engineering firm Senior fell 3.2% to 269.8p as Barclays trimmed its price target from 350p to 310p.

LARGE AND MID CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Gambling company Paddy Power Betfair advanced 1.7% to £70.25 as it slightly upgraded its annual guidance, after a strong sales performance in its new US business in the third quarter offset weakness in UK retail and Australia.

British Airways-owner International Consolidated Airlines rose 2.5% to 633.2p as it bumped up its long-term earnings outlook for 2019-to-2023 to €7.2bn a year, up from previous guidance of €6.5bn.

Barclays gained 1.7% to 178.5p on confirmation that former Rothschild deputy chairman Nigel Higgins would replace John McFarlane as the bank's chairman.

Broking house TP ICAP gained 4% to 299.8p as it reported 1% growth in revenue for the fourth months through October and said it had acquired energy and commodities brokerage Axiom for up to $29.1m.

Software company Sage Group gained 3.3% to 568.2p on announcing that it had appointed chief operating officer and former chief financial officer Steve Hare permanently to the role of chief executive.

Defence and aerospace engineering group Ultra Electronics sold its airport systems business to ADB Safegate for £22m because it had little in common with the rest of its business. Ultra shares were flat at £14.30.

SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Recruitment consultancy Parity tumbled 29% to 6.9p after it warned its full year profit would fall short of expectations, partly due to a delayed contract that was now expected to be downsized. At 12:04pm:

[LON:BARC] Barclays PLC share price was +3.13p at 178.67p

[LON:BRBY] Burberry Group PLC share price was +91.5p at 1908.5p

[LON:IAG] International Consolidated Airlines Group share price was +15.4p at 633.4p

[LON:IMB] Imperial Brands Plc share price was -90p at 2599.5p

[LON:PPB] Paddy Power Betfair share price was +120p at 7030p



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