- The FTSE 100 remained in positive territory amid a strong performance in Asia and the US as investors were excited by the possibility that significant US tax reforms could become law.

The FTSE 100 was trading 0.1% higher at 7,545 around midday.

On Wall Street last night, the Nasdaq was the biggest beneficiary of the Tax talk, up 0.8% at 6,994.

As for individual stocks, investment bank Berenberg reported that cigarette seller British American Tobacco (BATS) would benefit from the potential US tax cuts, saying it would increase earnings.

Shares in the firm advanced 1.1% to £50.17 and its rival Imperial Brands (IMB) also rose 1.2% to £31.39 on a positive read-across.

Brent crude increased 0.3% to $63.59 per barrel. Copper remained weak at $3.09 per pound.


Oilfield services provider Petrofac (PFC) was lifted 1.9% to 474.8p after migrating its Satuario production enhancement contract into an interest in a production share contract. Petrofac's partner in the venture is Mexico's PEMEX.

It was good news from Acacia Mining (ACA) after it agreed to sell a non-core royalty relating to the Hounde Mine in Burkina Faso for $45m. The shares were unmoved at 179.7p.

Financial services company Old Mutual Wealth (OML) advanced 3.9% to 221.4p on its decision to sell its single strategy asset management business to global private equity firm TA Associates for an expected £600m.


Comparison website GoCompare (GOCO) agreed to acquire MyVoucherCodes owner The Global Voucher Group and its subsidiaries from Monitise for £36.5m. Shares in GoCompare rallied 1.7% to 101p, helped by news that GoCompare expects full-year adjusted operating profits to hit the upper end of forecasts.

A significant decline in marketing expenditure at online retailer Koovs (KOOV) concerned investors who scrambled to sell the shares, resulting in a 46.3% slump to 14.5p. The company said spending would be lower due to 'ongoing funding requirements', which is expected to hit sales in the year to 30 September 2018.

Avesoro Resources (ASO) acquired two gold miners in West Africa and completed a share placing to raise £15.2m. The stock slipped 4.9% to 1.9p.

Agricultural distribution firm NWF (NWF) revealed that trading was stronger and net debt fell in the six months to 30 November compared to the prior year, pushing the shares 2.4% higher to 166.3p.

Elsewhere, biopharma firm PureTech Health (PRTC) announced its affiliate Entrega sealed a research collaboration with Eli Lilly. Under the deal, Entrega will receive $5m in research funding to investigate the application of Entrega's peptide delivery tech to specific products and therapeutic candidates of Eli Lilly. Shares in PureTech received a 3% shot to 144.2p on the news.

On AIM, precision marketing software specialist Pelatro (PTRO) and global video advertising company Mirriad Advertising (MIRI) made their stock market debuts.

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