- UK stocks opened higher on Friday as lingering fears of a no-deal Brexit kept pressure on the pound, helping exporters.

At 0834, the benchmark FTSE 100 index was up 19.91 points, or 0.3%, at 7.113.49.

Energy utility SSE shed 1.6% after it downgraded its annual earnings forecast, blaming a delay in receiving government funding to ensure reliability of electricity supplies.

London West End property investor Shaftesbury said footfall at its locations had been 'robust' over the Christmas and New Year trading period. Its shares, however, fell 0.5%.

Tech company Cloudbuy plunged 32% after it forecast annual revenue to fall by a quarter, as older contracts won in 2016 were not renewed.

Alternative finance group GLI Finance tumbled 15% after it said it would close a key subsidiary due to poor performance, and warned of material writedowns in its fintech division.

Tower Resources jumped 14% amid news that a joint venture led by Total had discovered natural gas and condensate close to one of its assets offshore South Africa.

Online retailer MySale slumped 11% on announcing it would post an underlying loss in the first half, due to Australian tax regulation, product mix and inventory issues.

Smart Metering Systems said it had won a smart meter installation contract with Co-operative Energy, while forecasting an annual result in line with market expectations. Its shares shed 0.3%.

Ecuador-focused miner SolGold said it was disappointed that Cornerstone Capital Resources had so swiftly dismissed a takeover approach and that it had decided to take its offer directly to the target's shareholders. Its shares weakened by 0.2%.

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