StockMarketWire.com - The FTSE 100 ended the day towards its highs despite continued government wrangling over the prime minister's withdrawal bill agreement and election rumours swirling around Westminster.

The FTSE 100 index of leading gained 59 points or 0.8% to 7,319 heading into the close.

AstraZeneca moved 5.9% higher to £73.25, after it upgraded its guidance on product sales following a 16% rise in the third quarter of the year, led by growth in its portfolio of cancer drugs.

Aveva gained up 4.2% to £40.85 on the news it expects low double-digit growth in revenue in the first half of the year, as the strong sales execution seen in the first quarter continued.

The company also benefited from the early renewal of a large EPC contract and a moderate increase in revenue from multi-year contracts.

Royal Bank of Scotland Group was a major faller, down 3% to 227p, following an £8m operating loss in the third quarter due to a further provision of £900m for PPI and poor trading in its NatWest Markets division.

MID-CAP MOVERS

Value footwear retailer Shoe Zone rose 11.8% to 132.5p after it generated revenues of approximately £162m in the 53-week period to 5 October 2019, against a 'challenging' trading period in the second half.

Kaz Minerals bounced 4.9% to 474p as it lifted its guidance on gold production following an uptick in copper output in the third quarter of the year.

It said this was driven by 'strong' performance from its Aktogay and Bozshakol mines.

Woodford Patient Capital Trust climbed 25% to 37.9p as the board announced Schroders had been appointed portfolio manager. The company will be renamed Schroder UK Public Private Trust.

Investment platform AJ Bell dipped 0.7% higher to 368p after it reported a rise in assets under administration, as platform customers jumped 19%.

Braemar Shipping Services declined 5.2% to 218p after reporting a fall in profit as 'strong' performance from its shipbroking division performance was offset by weakness in its financial division.

For the six months ended 31 August 2019, pre-tax profit fell 14% to £3m and revenue rose 4% to £59.5m.


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