- UK stocks opened higher on Friday as Brexit uncertainty kept the pound under pressure, helping exporters.

At 0842, the benchmark FTSE 100 was up 19.50 points, or 0.3%, at 6.979.82.

Financial services and insurance companies lead blue-chip gains, with Lloyds up 1.9%, Standard Life Aberdeen up 1.8% and Direct Line up 1.7%.

Flybe soared 22% in the wake of reports Virgin Atlantic was mulling a takeover of the struggling regional airline.

UK brewer and pub company Fuller Smith & Turner fell 1.3% as it posted a 12% fall in first-half profit, owing to rising costs as it expanded its footprint.

Construction company Interserve slumped 6.2%, despite forecasting a higher annual profit, as revenue fell in its construction division and it revealed a plan to cut debt by either raising capital or selling assets.

Brick maker Ibstock rallied 7.2% on news it had sold US business Glen-Gery to Brickworks for $110m, while confirming its full-year guidance.

Marine services company James Fisher and Sons posted a 15% rise in year-to-date revenue driven by demand from the offshore wind sector. Its shares were steady.

HICL Infrastructure said it had won a contract to help develop the transmission line for the UK's Galloper offshore wind farm. Its shares edged 0.1% higher.

Indivior announced that Health Canada had approved its opioid addiction treatment, paving the way for it to begin sales in Canada by the second half of 2019. Its shares fell 0.2%.

Specialist currency manager Record climbed 5.5% as it posted a 5% rise in first-half profit after it earning its first performance fees since March 2016.

Residential Secure Income rose 1.5% as it posted a net asset value total return of 9.5% in its maiden annual results announcement, beating its 8.0% IPO target.

Computer vision technology company Seeing Machines shed 5.6% on news chief financial offer James Palmer was standing down for personal reasons.

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