StockMarketWire.com - UK stocks opened substantially stronger on Monday after oil prices pared recent steep losses, boosting the energy sector.

At 0859, the benchmark FTSE 100 index was up 81.37, or 1.2%, at 7.034.23.

BP and Royal Dutch shell gained 1.3% and 1.4%, respectively, with smaller oil plays Premier Oil and Tullow Oil jumping 5.6% and 3.8%.

Rio Tinto said it had agreed to sell its stake in the Rossing uranium mine in Namibia to China National Uranium Corporation for up to $106.5m. Its shares fell 0.5%.

AstraZeneca, meanwhile, said the FDA had granted an orphan drug designation for its rare autoimmune disease treatment. Its shares gained 0.6%.

Cream cakes retailer Cake Box puffed 2.3% higher, as soaring sales helped it lift underlying profits in the first half by 34%.

Hotel Chocolat firmed 1.8% after it opened its the first store in Japan.

Convenience foods producer Greencore added 0.9%, as it completed the sale of its entire US business to an affiliate of Hearthside Food Solutions for $1.08bn.

Alternative energy company PowerHouse Energy jumped 16% on news that it had received a formal invitation from Japan's Toyota Tsusho to discuss forming a technology partnership.

Quadrise Fuels International, meanwhile, fell 2.0%, after it announced it had extended contracts for an exclusive supply agreement with AkzoNobel for a further year to November 2019.

Property investor Palace Capital fell 2.0%, despite posted a 67% rise in first-half profit, after it said it was struggling to find value in the current market to deliver appropriate returns to shareholders.

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