- UK stocks are climbing on Thursday amid weaker sterling, which fell in response to UK prime minister Boris Johnson's decision on Wednesday to prorogue parliament ahead of the Brexit deadline. Investors are also encouraged by China's fresh comments on potentially resolving the trade dispute with the US.

At 11:30, the benchmark FTSE 100 was up 82 points, or 1.2% higher, at 7,197.


AstraZeneca added 1.6% to trade at £7.38 after its lupus drug met its primary goal in a clinical trial.

International software product group Micro Focus International plummeted 23% to £11.97 after it revised its full-year revenue guidance down by two percentage points. This came as a result of weak sales execution and as a 'deteriorating macro environment' led to longer decision-making cycles in its customer base.

Energy services group Hunting gained 4.6% to 449.6p after it reported an uptick in half-yearly profit on higher revenue despite the uncertainty in the oil and gas industry.

Diversified Gas & Oil improved 2% to 103.5p after it said it had acquired the assets of EdgeMarc Energy for $50m.

Consumer products group PZ Cussons perked up 1.5p to 207 after it said it had entered into an agreement to sell its Greek food subsidiary Minerva and its Polish personal care brand Luksja.

Recruitment consultant Hays fell 2.3p to 136.8p after it announced a special dividend after reporting a slight fall in profit as weaker macroeconomic conditions in many markets kept a lid on net fees growth.


Mid-market private equity investor Oakley Capital Investments added 2p to trade at 233.5p after it said it had completed an investment in iconic homeware brand Alessi via a contribution of approximately £6m through its Oakley Capital Private Equity III fund.

The Gym Group climbed 2.5% to 244.5p after it reported a surge in profit as revenue grew by more than a quarter on the back of a 10% rise in membership numbers.

Dev Clever clipped ahead 2% to 4.55p after it said it had entered a commercial partnership agreement with One Voice Digital to boost the latter's consumer engagement efforts.

Guarantor loans provider Amigo slumped 42% to 85.1p after it reset annual expectations, blaming a weaker economic outlook and expectations that impairment would remain at a higher level than previously expected.

International fresh produce company Total Produce ripened 3.1% to 118p after it reported a sharp increase in earnings for its first half, as it incorporated its share of results from its Dole acquisition for the first time. It said it expected to see an increase in adjusted fully diluted earnings per share for the full year.

Ceramic products manufacturer Churchill China sparked up 15p to £16 on strong first half results showing a 27% surge in pre-tax profits with a chunky 18% hike in the dividend to 10.3p.

Convenience store retailer McColl's Retail slipped 2.1% lower to 47.4p after it said third-quarter sales and revenue were dragged down by a 'challenging' trading environment and poorer weather across the summer, but added that it still expected full-year results to be 'in line' with expectations.

Primary vanadium producer Bushveld Minerals rallied 4.6% to 22.75p after it said it had received approval from the Competition Commission of South Africa to acquire the Vanchem assets.

Power company Plutus PowerGen added 3.1% to 0.33p after it said it had entered into a collaboration agreement with an FCA-regulated investment adviser for the equity funding portion of its proposed initial 80MW and contemplated further portfolio of 160MW of Peaker gas sites in the UK.

UK-focused hydrocarbon company Union Jack Oil jumped 7% to 0.30p after it said that drilling at its West Newton wells in Yorkshire showed the presence of both oil and gas, rather than pure gas as it originally thought.

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