StockMarketWire.com - UK stocks opened stronger on Friday amid rising hopes of a US-China trade deal, though questions over the future of Brexit and Theresa May's leadership continued to plague the market with uncertainty.

At 0856, the benchmark FTSE 100 index was up 31.98 points, or 0.5%, at 7.069.99.

Pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca slumped 1.8% after a clinical trail found its Imfinzi treatment for small-cell lung cancer did not improve survival rates.

Imperial Brands, meanwhile, gained 0.8% after it confirmed it was adding child protection features to its vaping products, amid a US regulatory crackdown on underage use that included a ban on menthol cigarettes.

Construction company Kier added 3.1% after it sold an Australian asset for around £24m as part of a debt reduction drive and confirmed its annual earnings would be second-half weighted.

Environmental technology group Halma climbed 2.3% as it announced it had acquired radar surveillance outfit Navtech Radar for up to £39m.

Power utility National Grid said it had applied to regulators in New York and Massachusetts to raise rates while it invests in smart meters and electric car charging stations. Its shares fell 0.4%.

Telematics and other data provider Trakm8 Holdings plunged 63% as it swung to a first-half loss and downgraded its annual guidance, blaming a fall in overall contract revenue and trade sanctions against Iran.

Oil and gas producer Parkmead Group gained 0.6%, despite posting a deeper annual loss that owed to extra spending on exploration. Story provided by StockMarketWire.com