- UK stocks are climbing on Thursday morning with the market's attention on parliament's debates on Brexit expected latter in the session.

At 08:58, the benchmark FTSE 100 was 0.39%, or 28.26 points, higher at 7,219.10. This is the first time since October that the index has risen above 7,200.

AstraZeneca rose 4.32% as it said Thursday a "strong" fourth quarter led by performance of new medicines underscored its return to growth as the drugmaker met its guidance.

Low-cost airline EasyJet added 0.9% on Thursday as it confirmed it was in discussions with Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane and Delta Air Lines about forming a consortium to explore a take over of Italian national carrier Alitalia.

British price comparison website grew 4.93% as it reported an 8% increase in group revenue in 2018 as it made "significant progress" in executing its strategy to boost growth in its core markets and unlock new ones.

British software company Micro Focus International climbed 12.03% after it posted a better-than-expected 5.3% decline in pro-forma revenue for the 12 months to 31st October and anticipated this more positive trend would continue.

Asset manager Ashmore dropped 6.34% after it reported Thursday that assets under management increased in the first half as inflows were bolstered by renewed momentum in emerging markets amid signs the dollar was set to weaken.

Clarkson fell 1.80% on Thursday after it announced it had appointed William (Bill) Thomas as Chairman.

Homeserve, the home repairs and improvements business, edged 0.052% lower after it said it had teamed up with Mitsubishi Corporation to form a joint venture in Japan to provide home emergency and repair services.

Self-storage provider Safestore Holdings added 0.51% as it reported a 6% year-on-year increase in first-quarter revenue to £37.2m as the strong trading momentum seen in the second half of 2018 in the UK and Paris markets continued.

British restaurant and pub chain The Restaurant Group fell 10.48% as it announced on Thursday that chief executive Andy McCue would step down from his position due to "extenuating personal circumstances".

ConvaTec Group slumped 19.06% after it said on Thursday annual results were "disappointing" even as they met the company's previously revised expectations. But the company said its Pivot to Growth turnaround programme would help steady performance.

Rolls-Royce grew 0.91% as it said on Thursday it had secured an order from Emirates to provide its Trent 7000 engines to power 40 Airbus A330neo aircraft. The company did not disclose any financial details.

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