- Weaker sterling against the dollar and euro pushed the FTSE 100 higher as approximately 70% of the companies in the index generate overseas earnings.

Among the winners were SSE (SSE), consumer giant Unilever (ULVR) and Nurofen owner Reckitt Benckiser (RB.), which rose by up to 2.5%.

The FTSE 100 closed 0.3% higher at 7,556.


In the US, investors were alarmed that inflation was lagging compared to other economic indicators as this could affect pace of interest rate hikes.

The S&P 500 eased back to 2,552 on Thursday.


Popular shows such as Game of Thrones helped Sky (SKY) boost like-for-like sales by 5% to £3.3bn in the first quarter, supporting a 1.4% advance in the shares to 926.5p.

Just Eat (JE.) said its acquisition of unlisted Hungryhouse was provisionally cleared by the Competition and Markets Authority. Shares in Just Eat accelerated 6.5% to 749p.

Recruiter Hays (HAS) achieved another record quarterly net fee performance with 13% growth in Continental Europe and the rest of the world, offsetting modest growth in the UK & Ireland. The stock was stable at 190.5p.

Bookseller WH Smith (SMWH) dipped slightly to £20.70 despite a 10% hike in its dividend after pre-tax profit rose 7% to £140m in the year to August.

Londis owner Booker Group (BOK) revealed sales rose 2.5% to £2.6bn the 24 weeks to 8 September thanks to a 7.5% jump in non-tobacco revenue, but tobacco was down 9% due to legislative changes. Shares in the firm were flat at 205.5p.

Investors were unimpressed by fashion business N Brown's (BWNG) positive trading momentum and market share gains in the six 26 weeks to 2 September as the shares fell 5.5% to 330.7p.

The market felt lucky with sports betting firm GVC (GVC) thanks to a strong third quarter and its highest growth rate since the gaming company took over The stock was up 4.4% to 905.5p.


Shares in Independent Oil and Gas (IOG) soared 61% to 25.7p after a competent person's report on the firm's UK Southern North Sea gas portfolio revealed higher gas reserves than expected.

A positive trading update from bathroom specialist Norcross (NXR) helped the shares rise 6.5% to 179p. Management guided towards 12.5% sales growth to £144.9m, driven by a resilient UK performance and growth in South Africa.

Engineering group Renold (RNO) tumbled 9.7% to 46.5p on a full year profit warning, which it blamed on the Chinese division. The company said the higher cost of steel was partially responsible for the decline in profitability.

Elsewhere, Elegant Hotels (EHG) announced bookings at the start of its financial year were ahead of last year, causing its shares to rally 5.9% to 85p.

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