- It was mostly a sea of green across global equities as the likelihood of another US government shutdown lessened thanks to an agreement over border security for the US-Mexico border.

At midday, the FTSE 100 was up 0.3% at 7,152.

Among the biggest risers were utility company SSE, up 1.3% at £11.89, and pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca with a 1% rise at £57.37.

Brent crude oil gained 2% to $62.73 per barrel.


Online broker Plus500 tumbled 32.4%, despite almost doubling its annual profit. The company warned tighter UK regulations would cause it to post a profit in 2019 'materially lower' than market expectations.

Travel company TUI dropped another 3% as it posted a deeper earnings loss in its fiscal first quarter, while reiterating last week's shock guidance downgrade.

Pharmaceutical company Indivior shed 2.8% after a US court denied its appeal against a decision allowing rival Dr Reddy's Laboratories to sell a generic version of its opioid addiction treatment.

Train and bus company Stagecoach advanced 1.6% as it confirmed that subsidiary East Midlands Trains agreed a new short-term rail franchise with the UK's Department for Transport.

Insurer AA added 1.4% on announcing that it expected its annual underlying earnings to be at least £340m, in line with its previous guidance range of £335m to £345m.


Media consultancy Ebiquity warned 2019 profits for its consultancy business will be flat as cost pressures continued, causing the shares to fall 9.8% to 55p.

Data firm for the retail and transport sectors Touchstar rose 4.3% as it guided for a shallower loss than the market was currently expecting, due to margin improvement.

Logistics company Wincanton gained 1.5% on news that it had been selected by UK tax authorities to support air and sea freight inspections.

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