- UK stocks surged on Tuesday as investors applauded a string of earnings results while awaiting further signs of progress in US-China trade talks.

At midday the benchmark FTSE 100 index was up 91 points or 1.25%, at 7,399.

Leading the gainers was safety and inspection equipment supplier Halma which jumped 11.5% to a new all-time high of £21.17 after setting new half-year records for revenues, profits and dividends

Turnover and pre-tax profits both rose by 12% thanks to strong growth in all its geographic regions and all of its business units. The surge in the shares added more than £800m to Halma's market value.

Also making a new all-time high on results was home services and repairs firm Homeserve, up 7.7% to £12.90 after reporting strong growth in US membership numbers and improved profits.

Completing the hat-trick, asset manager Intermediate Capital gained 5.8% to a new all-time high of £15.80 following stronger than expected results and growth in assets for the first half of the year.

Another strong gainer was testing and certification firm Intertek, which rallied 4.7% to £55.55 after analysts at research firm Jefferies raised their view on the stock to Buy from Hold.

Electrical-appliance retailer AO World gained 11.7% to 63.75p as it booked a narrower first-half loss and announced it would close its loss-making Dutch business to focus on its UK and German operations.

Components supplier to the aerospace and defence sector Meggitt rose 2.5% to 644p, having secured a six-year requirements contract with the Defense Logistics Agency in Philadelphia worth as much as $130m.

Utility service provider Telecom Plus firmed 2.5% to a three-month high of £13.12 after it delivered a 9.2% rise in first-half profit driven by new customer additions.

Shares in EasyJet rose 2.9% to £13.13 after the budget carrier posted full year results in line with expectations and said it would become the world's first major airline to offset all of its emissions from flying.

Engineering group Melrose Industries gained 2.1% to 227p on the news that trading was in line with expectations for 2019, with sales rising at its aerospace division but falling at its automotive and powder metallurgy units.

Suit retailer Moss Bros added 1.2% to 21p after announcing that it had poached Ted Backer chief financial officer Bill Adams to be its new CFO.

Adams would replace Tony Bennett, who is standing down for personal reasons, from February. Ted Baker shares rose 3% to 389p.


Water and climate management group Polypipe fell 2.9% to 462.65p as it guided for an annual underlying operating profit 'just below' its previous expectations.

Self-storage group Big Yellow shed 4.1% to £11.4357, even as it reported a 6% rise in adjusted first-half profit.

Payments group Equiniti was having a tougher morning, sinking 13% to 197p after it forecast operating earnings toward the bottom end of market expectations owing to 'weaker higher-margin UK corporate activity'.

Instrumentation and controls company Spectris advanced 4.1% to £27.04 despite reporting that its like-for-like sales were flat in the four months through October against a tough comparative in the previous year.

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