- UK stocks opened stronger on Friday as a weaker pound helped exporters and populists formed a government in Italy.

At 0856, on a relatively quiet day for company announcements, the FTSE 100 was up 53.08 points, or 0.7%, at 7.731.28.

Investors were braced for the release of monthly US unemployment data, due later on Friday.

Mining company Weatherly International said it was considering going into administration after flooding at its Tschudi copper project in Namibia prompted its financier to pull funding. The company's shares were suspended from trading.

Specialist European credit market investor Real Estate Credit Investments said it had decided to cancel a proposed share issue due to current volatility in equity markets. Its shares were flat.

Rio Tinto said it had completed the sale of its 75% interest in the Winchester South coal development in Australia's Queensland state to Whitehaven Coal for $200m. Its shares fell 0.1%.

Property portal owner ZPG said it had completed the sale of Hometrack Australia to REA Group for A$130m (£74m) in cash. Its shares were flat.

Velocity Composites jumped 12% on news that it had agreed to secure the supply of complex design consumable kits for Boeing's 737 Max programme.

Latin America-focused energy utility Rurelec shed 6.7% after said liquidity remained a 'critical issue' for the company as write-downs and outages contributed to another annual loss.

Marketing agency System1 Group tumbled 11% after it booked a 68% slide in annual profit as clients cut spending on market research and corporate costs rose.

Landore Resources slipped 3.2% after the small-cap miner said its annual losses almost doubled.

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