- The FTSE 100 rose 0.4% to 7,130 as miners rallied on reports of Chinese stimulus overnight, helping to offset the impact from rising sterling.

The pound strengthened following unconfirmed reports that UK Prime Minister Theresa May is heading to Strasbourg for last minute Brexit talks ahead of a parliamentary vote on Tuesday.

Wall Street enjoyed a strong performance with the S&P 500 jumping 1.2% to 2,775 by around 5pm UK time.

Brent crude oil was up 0.8% at $66.27 per barrel.


Accounting adjustments at construction outsourcing firm Kier saw net debt restated at £180.5m, up from £130m. Average month-end net debt for the six months to 31 December was also up from £370m to £430m.

The business booked a £25m charge linked to delays on its redevelopment of Broadmoor hospital and its shares are down to 12% to 437.4p.

Fashion retailer Superdry fell 1.4% to 514.5p after announcing a general meeting for 2 April at the request of co-founders Julian Dunkerton and James Holder to consider their election to the board of directors.

Oil and gas explorer Cairn Energy revealed a resolution to its Indian court case may take longer than expected, causing the shares to plummet 11% to 174.7p.

Experian dipped 0.3% to £20.14 after Deutsche Bank issued a negative broker note on the company.

Financial services group Charter Court jumped 11.1% on confirming that it was in 'advanced talks' to be acquired by OneSavings Bank. The latter's shares advanced 11%.

Sub-prime lender Provident Financial gained 2.2% 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 12.5% to £22.65 as its annual profits slipped and it warned of more choppy seas ahead, partly caused by Brexit uncertainty.


Ailing department store chain Debenhams retreated 1.2% on confirming that it was in 'advanced' negotiations with current lenders to secure additional credit facilities of around £150m.

Inkjet printing technology company Xaar shed 9.3% to 122p 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 9.3% as it forecast a flat annual earnings performance.

Reabold Resources jumped 10.4% to 0.6p on news that a joint venture in the US had discovered oil in California.

Ascent Resources dropped 8.4% 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.

RNA-based therapy developer Silence Therapeutics fell 5.3% to 50p as it posted a deeper annual loss, owing to higher R&D spending and legal fees.

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