- UK stocks opened higher on Friday as fears of a no-deal Brexit continued to heap pressure on the pound, helping the shares of big British multi-nationals.

At 0845, the benchmark FTSE 100 index was up 18.60 points, or 0.2%, at 7.702.57.

Global advertising group WPP and tobacco behemoth's British American Tobacco and Imperial brands rose 2.1%, 2.0% and 1.5%, respectively.

Insurance company Beazley slumped 12% as its first-half profit more than halved, with lower investment income overshadowing a rise in premium revenue.

Sirius Minerals gained 1.0% after it signed up two new Chinese customers for a potash mine currently under development in Yorkshire.

PureTech Health rallied 13% on the back of new that Roche had agreed use its milk-derived technology to help patients ingest treatments. PureTech said it would received up $36m, plus potential development milestone payments of over $1bn.

Home repairs business Homeserve said it had performed in line with expectations during its fiscal first quarter in what was a traditionally quieter period. Its shares gained 0.8%.

Audio visual and document solutions distributor Midwich jumped 6.7% after announcing that its performance for the full year would be ahead of its expectations, following both revenue growth and margin expansion in the first half.

Currency manager Record gained 4.0% as it boosted net inflows in the first quarter, reversing net outflows in the previous period.

Consumer self-care group Venture Life gained 3.6%, even as it launched a share issue to raise £18.8m, to both pay down debt and fund its proposed £4.2 acquisition of the Dentyl Dual action mouthwash and BB Mints businesses.

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