- News of a short-term reprieve on US firms doing business with Chinese technology firm Huawei have been taken positively by the market with the FTSE 100 joining in wider strength for European markets.

By midday the index of leading UK shares was up 0.7% to 7,364.06, also boosted by the latest machinations in UK politics which, in appearing to increase the risks of a no deal Brexit, hurt sterling.

Airline stocks struggled amid the recent surge in oil prices with International Consolidated Airlines down 1% and Easyjet descending 0.5%.


TV and film business Entertainment One fell 6.4% as investors seemingly ignored a 21% increase in adjusted earnings to focus on a 43% drop in statutory pre-tax profit as the company's full year results were hit by several one-off items.

Supermarket giant Tesco gained 1.5% on announcing that its banking division had ceased new mortgage lending and that it was was actively seeking to sell the entire loan book.

Construction company Galliford Try rallied 13% on guiding for its full-year results to meet market expectations, supported by ongoing demand for housing and efforts to trim its construction business.

Water utility Severn Trent gained 1% after it posted a sure and steady 6.8% rise in annual profit, driven by higher sales in its regulated and waste water business following tariff increases.

Meat producer Cranswick sizzled 0.7% higher as it booked a modest rise in annual adjusted profit, despite citing pressure on sales from competition and Brexit uncertainty.

Cycling and motor equipment retailer Halfords edged 0.5% higher despite posting a 24% fall in annual profit that was nevertheless in line with guidance.

Booking and convenience retailer WH Smith shed 0.5% on reporting a large rise in year-to date-sales, as it rolled out new outlets at airports. High street sales, however, continued to come under pressure. The company also revealed the departure of CEO Stephen Clarke to be replaced by retain industry veteran Carl Cowling.

Healthcare services provider UDG Healthcare gained 7.3% on announcing that it had acquired two consultancy groups for up to a combined $106.3m.

London West End property investor Shaftesbury fell 1% after it booked a 69% fall in first-half profit owing to the impact of property revaluations. Underlying earnings, however, were supported by higher rental income and the company upped its dividend by 4.8%.

Document management business Restore added 2.7% on news that it had poached Neil Ritchie, the chief financial officer of luxury handbag group Mulberry, as its finance head. Mulberry shares fell 3.3%.


Footwear retailer Shoe Zone fell 5.7% after it booked a flat first-half profit owing to a small fall in sales.

Topps Tiles slipped 5.9% as its profits in the first half were dragged down by start up costs at its new commercial business, though underlying profits improved.

Engineering services group Renew gained 0.5% after it posted a rise in first-half profit, amid a sales boost provided by its acquisition last May of QTS.

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