StockMarketWire.com - UK stocks opened substantially stronger on Friday after a rebound in Shanghai helped drive Asian markets higher, and European leaders struck a deal on migration.

At 0859 GMT, the benchmark FTSE 100 index was up 86.77 points, or 1.1%, at 7.702.40.

Serco Group dropped 4.8% after the security services provider said falling revenue and currency headwinds could flatten profit growth in the first half.

BAE Systems rallied 3.1%, as it confirmed it had won multi-billion contracts to supply frigates and fighter jets to the Australian and Qatari governments, respectively.

Daily Mirror publisher Reach gained 3.6% as it forecast first-half revenue growth of 11%, owing to its recent acquisition of publishing assets from Northern & Shell, including the Daily Express newspaper. On a like-for-like basis, however, sales slumped 8%.

Mining companies were some of the morning's biggest gainers, with BHP Billiton jumping 2.0%. The mining giant had also announced an agreement to provide $211m in financial support to a foundation related to the Samarco mine disaster in Chile.

Infrastructure investment manager John Laing added 1.6% as it maintained its full-year outlook on investment commitments, with the caveat they'd be weighted to the second half.

Shares in struggling African airline Fastjet soared 130% after it launched a $10m equity raising that would help it avoid liquidation.

RA International, a provider of services to remote locations in Africa and the Middle East, commenced trading in AIM with an initial market capitalisation of £97.2m. Trading got off to a good start, with the shares rising 3.6% to 58p, compared to their 56p offer price.

Sound Energy gained 1.1% after it announced that new modelling studies had identified a potential significant new oil play at its permits in Eastern Morocco.

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