StockMarketWire.com - UK stocks reversed modest morning losses to rally into positive territory following promising signals from talks between the UK and EU over Ireland and the possibility of striking a Brexit deal before the 31 October deadline.

At the close on Friday the benchmark FTSE 100 index had strode around 60 points higher to 7,247.08, getting an extra boost from a firm opening on Wall Street. But it was the more domestically UK focused FTSE 250 that really stole the show, making one of its biggest one-day jumps as the index gained more than 800 points to 20,041.71, a rally of 4.2%.

Sterling strengthened significantly against both the dollar and euro putting pressure on exporters but giving a big lift to UK domestic stocks. The pound jumped 2.52% against the dollar ($1.2682) and 1.58% versus the euro, at €1.1484.

This was illustrated by strong rallies for both UK banks and housebuilders, led by Lloyds' 12.2% jump to 59.13p to top the FTSE 100 leader board, closely followed by Barratt Developments, Royal Bank of Scotland, Persimmon and Taylor Wimpey, which all posted double-digit gains.

Silver miner Fresnillo led the FTSE 100 losers, falling 3.6% to 630.8p, followed by British American Tobacco 3.5% at £27.10, as further negative vaping news percolates into the mind set of investors.

CORPORATE NEWS

Hedge fund manager Man Group shed 2.6% to 157.95p after warning that its outlook on fund flows remained 'mixed' amid Brexit uncertainty, while reporting a fall in third-quarter net assets.

This was is stark contrast to fellow investment group Jupiter Fund Management which saw its share price rally more than 5% to 335.2p despite it too reporting a fall in third-quarter assets under management.

Media production company Entertainment One stayed flat at 562.5p as it reported wider first-quarter losses owing to lower broadcasting and licencing revenues. The company is due to be taken over by US toys group Hasbro.

Jet2 holidays company owner Dart Group was among the big winners on Friday after cashing in on the collapse of Thomas Cook. Its rival's demise means Jet2 holidays demand has soared prompting the company to raise full year guidance, although management remain more cautious on the longer-term outlook.

Dart shares jumped more than 16.5% to £10.90, valuing the business at £1.6bn.

Interdealer broker TP ICAP added 1.7% to 323.5p, even as it announced that it would pay a £15.4m settlement to the UK's Financial Conduct Authority, regarding an investigation into trades undertaken between 2008 and 2011.

Self-storage group Big Yellow jumped more than 6% to £11.40 as it received planning permission for a new store in Hove, England.

SMALL CAP WRAP

Fashion retailer Quiz nudged up 0.5% at 16.75p after it warned of a 5% fall in first-half revenue amid a difficult trading environment in the UK.

Chemicals company investor Wilmcote crashed by 33% to 65p after it said talks with potential acquisition target Arclin were cancelled and that pursuing the deal had cost it a 'material' amount.

The company also said that it was talking to shareholders about potential funding options.

Nostrum Oil & Gas regained most of its earlier hefty losses after it announced that it was unable to sustain a commercial flow of hydrocarbons from a well in Kazakhstan. Having initially slumped around 38% in morning trading, the stock rallied back to close just 3% in the red at 10.18p.


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