StockMarketWire.com - UK stocks are climbing on Thursday ahead of the European Central Bank meeting later in the session, buoyed by gains in the US overnight.

At 08:58, the benchmark FTSE 100 was 0.52%, or 37.39 points, higher at 7,257.61.

Auto Trader slipped 1.12% despite delivering annual results that topped market expectations as profits rose 15% as demand for its offerings drove up sales.

Rolls-Royce added 1.49% after it said it had transferred £4.6bn of its pension scheme to Legal & General in a deal which covered assets and liabilities relating to some 33,000 of the 76,000 pensioners enrolled in its Rolls-Royce UK Pension Fund.

Aviva shed 1.77% as it revealed a plan to trim down its operations in a bid to cut costs by £300m in the next three years that could see up to 1,800 jobs axed.

AstraZeneca rose 1.02% after it said its results from a clinical trial assessing the company's chronic lymphocytic leukaemia drug had met its primary goal showing improved survival rates compared with the chemotherapy-based treatment.

Entertainment One jumped 14.23% after it denied media reports that Chief Content Officer and president Mark Gordon was set to exit the company, insisting that he continued to be a part of the eOne team both now and into the future.

Spread betting group CMC Markets edged 0.89% higher even as it reported a slump in profits as regulations and choppy markets hurt client trading activity.

Lifestyle fashion retailer Joules climbed 3.92% after it said it expected underlying pre-tax profits for the full year to be at the upper end of analysts' expectations amid continued revenue growth and efforts to cut costs.

Amino technologies leapt 7.95% as it said it expected first-half revenues to fall 15% as the company made "good progress" with its transformation programme targeting $5m in cost savings.

Go-Ahead Group jumped 10.25% after it lifted its outlook on its London and international bus division due to "strong" operational performance and reported gains in its rail division after improving service levels.

Global aviation services business John Menzies edged 0.19% higher after it said it had appointed Giles Wilson as Chief Executive Officer with immediate effect.

Cloud-based cybersecurity software vendor Osirium Technologies rose 5.81% as it said it had won a three-year contract to provide software and professional services to a major telecoms provider in Southern Europe.

Specialist filtration and environmental technologies group Porvair rose 0.74% after it said it had delivered revenue growth of 20% in the six months to 31 May 2019 amid trading "in line" with management expectations.

Automotive supplier Autins Group plummeted 29.04% after it warned on profits on a slower-than-expected improvement in margins as major customers reined in orders and plant shutdowns continued at an "unprecedented" pace amid Brexit uncertainty.

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