StockMarketWire.com - The FTSE 100 was up 0.7% by midday to 7,269.84 as the market hoped for a market-friendly steer from the European Central Bank at its meeting later.

This helped it shrug off several stocks trading ex-dividend including housebuilder Taylor Wimpey down 1.6%.

LARGE AND MID CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Auto Trader slipped 1.3% despite delivering annual results that topped market expectations as profits rose 15% as demand for its offerings drove up sales.

Rolls-Royce added 1.6% 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 rose 1.3% 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 1.4% 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 15.7% 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 0.7% higher even as it reported a slump in profits as regulations and choppy markets hurt client trading activity.

Go-Ahead Group jumped 9% 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.

SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Lifestyle fashion retailer Joules climbed 5.9% 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 9.9% 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.

Global aviation services business John Menzies climbed 2% higher after it said it had appointed Giles Wilson as CEO with immediate effect.

Automotive supplier Autins Group plummeted 29.7% 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.

At 12:09pm:

[LON:AUTO] Auto Trader Group Plc share price was -7.5p at 579.9p

[LON:AZN] AstraZeneca PLC share price was +83p at 6042p

[LON:ETO] Entertainment One Group share price was +56.4p at 406.4p

[LON:GOG] GoAhead Group The PLC share price was +171p at 2054p

[LON:TW.] Taylor Wimpey PLC share price was -13.62p at 155.53p



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