StockMarketWire.com - The FTSE 100 has hit a year high after edging over the 7,600 mark for the first time since last August.

Sterling weakness has continued to benefit the UK's leading basket of stocks, along with investors taking bets on an interest rate cut from the Bank of England.

At 1153, the benchmark FTSE 100 index was up 55.45 points, or 0.7%, at 7,614.73.

LARGE AND MID CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Paddy Power owner Flutter Entertainment soared 12% to £68.74 after a mixture of bid speculation and positive broker comment about the gambling industry's increasing willingness for self regulation.

Supermarket chain Sainsbury's shed 1.4% to 197p as its sales, excluding fuel, fell 1.2% in the first quarter, in what it called a 'tough' market.

Sportswear retailer JD Sports Fashion rose 3.2% to 622p after the company said it remained on track to deliver annual headline profit before tax 'at least' equal to current consensus market expectations.

Student accommodation developer Unite increased 3% to £10.27 on news that it had agreed to acquire Liberty Living Group from Canada Pension Plan Investment Board for £1.4bn.

Specialist chemicals company Synthomer also announced a big deal, jumping 4% to 386p on revealing that it had agreed to acquire US-based counterpart Omnova Solutions for $473m (£375m).

Services company Serco fell 1.1% to 144p after it agreed to pay a fine to the UK Serious Fraud Office of £19.2m, plus £3.7m of investigation costs, related to historical misstatements of contract earnings.

Electronics products supplier Electrocomponents fell 1.4% to 627p despite reporting a 4% rise in like-for-like revenue growth for the first quarter. The company also warned that its first-half margins would take hit from inventory expansion.

SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Topps Tiles added 3% to 69p as the flooring retailer reported a 3.8% rise in like-for-like sales in the third quarter of its financial year.

Online estate agency Purplebricks dipped 0.3% to 93p as it posted a deeper annual loss. It also announced that it would exit the US market after expanding there too quickly.

Accident management support services group Redde gained 5.6% to 113p after a customer extended a contract, that was due to expire at the end of July, for an extra four months.


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