- UK stocks opened higher on Monday amid hopes China would offer more stimulus support to its economy, and as local investors braced for another key parliamentary vote on Brexit this Tuesday.

At 0839, the benchmark FTSE 100 index was up 53.85 points, or 0.8%, at 7.158.16.

Financial services group Charter Court jumped 9.1% on confirming that it was in 'advanced talks' to be acquired by One Savings Bank.

Sub-prime lender Provident Financial gained 1.8% after hostile bidder Non-Standard Financial issued its offer document, which gave shareholders until 5 May to assess the bid.

Both companies continued their war of words against one another, with Non-Standard claiming its bid presented a 'compelling and achievable vision for a better future'. Provident claimed it significantly undervalued the company and came with operational and execution risks.

Shipping services provider Clarkson fell 4.7% as its annual profits slipped and it warned of more choppy seas ahead, partly cause by Brexit uncertainty.

Ailing department store chain Debenhams added 0.5% on confirming that it was in 'advanced' negotiations with current lenders to secure additional credit facilities of around £150m.

Investment group HgCapital rose 1.2%, as it posted positive annual returns that easily beat its benchmark.

Inkjet printing technology company Xaar shed 7.4% as it warned that its annual profits would take a £7m hit, due to delays selling new products in China.

Builder services group Northern Bear tumbled 13% as it forecast a flat annual earnings performance.

Residential property developer Watkin Jones gained 0.2% after announcing that it had completed the forward sale of a student accommodation development in Wembley to investment group DWS for around £90m.

Reabold Resources jumped 16% on news that a joint venture in the US had discovered oil in California.

Ascent Resources dropped 7.7% after it was ordered by authorities to produce an environmental impact assessment for a key project in Slovenia. The company said it would appeal the decision.

Softdrinks company Britvic gained 0.6% on appointing former Tesco executive Joanne Wilson as its new chief financial officer.

RNA-based therapy developer Silence Therapeutics fell 3.4% as it posted a deeper annual loss, owing to higher R&D spending and legal fees.

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