- A positive broker note on GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) from UBS provided the stock with a boost as the shares were lifted 1.8% to £13.21.

Utility stocks also gained positive momentum as National Grid (NG.) rose 1% to 875.4p and Severn Trent (SVT) advanced 0.8% to £21.23.

This helped the FTSE 100 trade 0.3% higher at 7,430 by midday.

Brent crude oil dipped 0.4% to $63.61 per barrel.


Electronics giant Samsung slumped to a one-month low after Morgan Stanley cut its recommendation, which dragged Korea's index Kospi 1.4% lower to 2,507 this morning.


Publishing firm Pearson (PSON) decided to sell its Wall Street English language teaching business for $300m to a consortium of funds. The stock dropped 1.9% to 694.5p as the deal would only cut net debt by $100m thanks to costs.

Defence firm Ultra Electronics (ULE) won two new contracts worth a total of £25.6m. One contract was for advanced surveillance in the UK and the other was from security business Saab of Sweden. Unfortunately investors were wary of the company's recent profit warning as the shares were broadly unmoved at £12.31.

Pharma firm AstraZeneca (AZN) submitted a supplemental new drug application in Japan for its lung cancer drug Tagrisso. The stock nudged 0.6% higher to £50.12 on the news.


Luxury cake seller Patisserie (CAKE) delivered a 17.1% increase in pre-tax profit at £20.2m in the year to 30 September, which was driven by a 9.7% increase in sales to £114.2m. Shares in the firm sweetened 6.9% to 335.4p.

Security systems specialist Newmark Security (NWT) reported its Grosvenor Technology division won a €3m contract with a leading European workforce management provider, triggering a 12.4% rally to 1.1p.

Bioscience energy company EQTEC (EQT) was down 32.9% at 1.09p after its shares emerged from a four-month suspension. EQTEC also announced the £14m acquisition of power plan engineer EQTEQ Iberia.

Payment system company Cerillion (CER) sparked 5.4% to 125.9p, driven by a jump in software sales, which boosted annual profit and the final dividend.

Pawnbroker Ramsdens (RFX) sparkled at 188p thanks to a maiden interim dividend and significant increase in first half profit.

Shares in Prospex Oil and Gas (PXOG) soared 35.3% to 0.6p on the discovery of commercial quantities of natural gas in a Romanian well, in which it has a 50% interest.

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