- UK stocks opened higher on Friday as investors continued to digest dovish statements from US and UK central banks this week that pointed to potential interest rate cuts.

At 0845 the benchmark FTSE 100 index was up 23.64 points, or 0.3%, at 7.448.08.

Sports Direct shed 0.9% as it insisted that small football pitch operator Goals Soccer Centres allow it to appoint an independent investigator to peruse its books.

The sportswear retailer, which owns 19% of Goals, also said that it would vote against the election of the company's directors at its annual general meeting later this month.

Shares in Goals, which has admitted to accounting irregularities, are currently suspended from trading.

Health, safety and environmental equipment designer Halma was broadly flat after it announced a deal to buy Australasian fire and evacuation systems supplier Ampac for A$135m (£74m).

Component and systems supplier Meggitt fell 0.9%, despite it securing a contract from General Dynamics Land Systems to develop an advanced cooling system for next-generation ground combat platforms.

Online travel ticket issuer Trainline made a stellar debut on the London Stock exchange, with its shares jumping to 425p in early trade, well above their IPO price of 350p.

Compound semiconductor technology developer IQE slumped 37% after it warned of weakening revenues, as smartphones sales and ongoing fallout from US sanctions on Huawei drag on the wider microchips industry.

Recruitment company Prime People advanced 8.0% as it more than doubled its annual profit, after a jump in revenue in its Asia Pacific division offset more subdued conditions at home.

Advertising company S4Capital added 1.6% as it announced that its MediaMonks unit had agreed to acquire Australian marketing company BizTech, for an undisclosed sum.

Gold and copper explorer SolGold rallied 25% on news that a an Ecuadorean court had rejected a petition that would have allowed a possible referendum on banning mining in Imbabura province, the location of its Casbal project.

Nanomaterials manufacturer Nanoco tumbled 74% after a key customer in the US decided not to continue a current contract with the company ending this year.

Security services company Westminster jumped 26% on announcing that it had agreed to form a joint venture in Saudi Arabia with Hazar International.

Specialist long-term savings provider Hansard Global gained 7.3% after it secured a licence to operate in Japan.

Out-of-home advertising company Ocean Outdoor rose 1.3% after announcing that it was rolling out a new billboard digital network in Birmingham

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