- The FTSE 100 gains 0.3% to 6,840.54 by midday on Friday but is outpaced by other European markets, Germany's DAX index up as much as 1.5%, thanks to strength in sterling.

An apparent shift in the DUP's position is leading to hopes Theresa May can get her Brexit deal through the House of Commons. Strength in the pound is usually a negative for the FTSE 100 as it impacts the relative value of its constituents' overseas earnings.

US futures are pointing to a higher open on Wall Street when trading resumes later with a raft of corporate earnings in focus.


Vodafone shed 2.5% to 140.5p as its revenue slipped 6.8% in the third quarter, though the telecom giant also reiterated its annual earnings guidance.

Pub group Fuller Smith & Turner jumped 15.5% to £10.50 on news it had agreed to sell its entire beer business to Asahi Europe for £250m. The company also revealed a strong sales performance over the Christmas and New Year period.

Drug developer Indivior fell 2.6% to 111p after it announced that a court had temporarily blocked rival Alvogen Pine Brook from selling a generic version of its opioid addiction treatments -- though only until 7 February.

Drinks maker A.G. Barr fell 2.8% to 775.3p, even as it forecast a 5% rise in annual revenue buoyed by market share gains.

Semiconductor wafer manufacturer IQE shed 0.3% to 74.3p as it warned of flat annual revenue, lower earnings and a £4.5m writedown relating to unlet space at a Singapore facility.


Women's fashion retailer Bonmarche rallied 6.9% to 39.6p despite it reporting an 8.1% slump in sales over the festive period -- that at least met its own previously-downgraded expectations.

Online retailer Findel advanced 5% to 210p on announcing that it expected pre-tax profit to come in toward the upper end of market expectations amid record sales in the weeks leading up to Black Friday.

Software supplier Scisys gained 3.6% to 179.3p after it said it expected to 'comfortably' meet market expectations for both its annual revenue and adjusted operating profit.

Pan African Resources added 3.8% to 9.5p, despite an underground mine closure in South Africa sending first-half gold production down 5%. Production from continuing operations, however, jumped 54%.

Nanomaterial manufacturer Nanoco gained 5.3% to 46p on news it had signed a contract extension to deliver additional services and materials to an undisclosed US company.

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