StockMarketWire.com - The FTSE 100 closed significantly higher on Friday as the benchmark index made the most of sterling's fall and was also helped by a surge from Vodafone.

Sterling fell on Friday as tensions rose between top EU officials and the UK's newly appointed Prime Minister Boris Johnson, with the latter determined to get rid of the controversial backstop, an act the EU has described as 'unacceptable'.

There was also no sign of full year results from Sports Direct despite several promises from the company throughout the day.

The UK's leading index closed 0.8%, or 60.01 points, higher at 7,549.06.

LARGE AND MID CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Vodafone recorded the biggest one-day movement in its share price in six years, as the shares closed 10.61% higher at 146p.

The telecom giant said it remained confident on its full-year earnings guidance even as it reported a 2.3% drop in first-quarter group revenue, which it attributed to foreign exchange rate effects.

The company also said it had moved to legally separate its towers business into a new organisation that it could list within the next 18 months.

IMI edged 2.62% higher to £10.58 even as it reported a slight fall in half-year profits as industrial automation weakness continued to hurt performance in its precision engineering division and revenue slipped in its critical engineering division.

Pantheon International rose 0.75% to £23.27 even as it announced a 0.6% decrease in NAV per share at 30 June as investment income was offset by valuation losses, foreign exchange movements and expenses and taxes during the month of June.

Anglo American dropped 4.12% to £20.97 after it said it had purchased 290,000 shares on 25 July as part of its plan to buy back up to $1bn worth of shares.

Entertainment One added 0.9% to 449.2p after it announced that Mark Gordon would continue to develop and produce content for the group after signing a multi-year deal.

Rightmove jumped 2.33% higher to 523.5p after it posted a 10% increase in first-half revenue as advertising revenue growth offset the impact of a decline in branch numbers. This came even as low-stock agency branches bore the brunt of a 4.6% drop in housing transactions against the first half of 2018.

Veterinary services provider CVS moved 5.94% higher to 936p after it said it expected adjusted earnings to meet recently upgraded market expectations as annual revenues climbed by nearly a quarter amid improved second-half performance.

Global education company Pearson jumped 5.25% to 921.6p after it reported underlying growth across all its divisions in the first half of the financial year and maintained its profit guidance as it began to see benefits from its shift from print to digital.

Charter Court Financial Services Group's subsidiary Charter Mortgages said it had agreed to sell its economic interest in the Precise Mortgage Funding 2019-1B securitisation to J.P. Morgan Securities for £6.2m in cash. The stock was last seen down 2.53% at 308p.

British-Airways owner IAG slipped 1.46% to 438.2p after it said it had forked out €52.8m to early-redeem the remaining 10.56% of the bonds that were due to be redeemed on 17 November 2020.

3i Infrastructure added 0.41% to 285.16p after it said it had agreed to invest about €220m to acquire an up to 100% stake in Ionisos from Ardian Expansion.

Airtel Africa fell 0.86% to 68.9p after it said profits more than doubled in the first quarter driven by double-digit revenue growth in Nigeria and East Africa.

SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Independent Oil and Gas surged 23.44% to 19.75p after it said it had struck an agreement with CalEnergy Resource to farm out 50% of the company's Southern North Sea assets for an initial payment of £40m in cash.

London Estate Agent Foxtons Group fell 1.71% to 57.4p as it reported wider half-yearly losses on lower revenue in its sales business amid ongoing weakness of the London market. The company also said that it expects conditions to remain challenging.

Mothercare slumped 12.96% to 17.19p after it said the UK market would continue to be 'uncertain and volatile' in the medium term, accompanied by 'fragile' consumer confidence as it warned on profits in a 15-week trading update.

Superdry rose 0.93% to 457.8p after it said it had appointed two new non-executive directors to its board.

Begbies Traynor Group fell 2.56% to 76p after it detailed plans to raise gross proceeds of up to £8.3m through the placing of shares at a discount to fund acquisition opportunities.

Pharmaceutical company Shield Therapeutics rocketed 67.83% to 173.7p after it said it had received FDA approval in the United States for its Feraccru (Accrufer in the US) drug for the treatment of iron deficiency in adults.

XPS Pensions Group remained flat at 119p after it announced that non-executive director Jonathan Punter would retire from the board of directors at the end of the company's annual general meeting on 12 September 2019.

Condor Gold rose 1.43% to 17.75p as it said it raised net proceeds of £4.04m following the private placement of shares.


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