- The FTSE 100 has taken its cue from the US as it closed 0.7% higher at 7,611.27.

In the US, the S&P 500 opened 0.3% higher at 2,973.01, driven by healthcare stocks and bets from investors that interest rates could be cut amid trade tensions.


Paddy Power owner Flutter Entertainment soared 11.5% to £68.38 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 0.3% to 199p 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 2.3% to 616p 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 2.3% to £10.20 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, rising 1.3% to 376p after revealing that it had agreed to acquire US-based counterpart Omnova Solutions for $473m (£375m).

Services company Serco fell 0.8% to 145p 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 1.6% to 625p 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.


Estate agent Foxtons suddenly jumped 13.6% to 62p in afternoon trading despite the absence of any news about the company.

Topps Tiles added 2.2% to 68p 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 gained 3% to 96p despite reporting 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 7% to 115p 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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