- UK stocks surged further on Friday after better than expected jobs data from the US, which added 266,000 jobs in November.

It followed market optimism during morning trading after US president Donald Trump raised investor hopes of an end to the country's trade war with China.

The benchmark FTSE 100 index closed 101.81 points, or 1.43%, higher at 7,239.66.


Insurance company Phoenix closed effectively flat at 739.4p as the market embraced news that it had agreed to acquire life insurance consolidator ReAssure from Swiss Re and MS&AD Insurance for £3.2bn in cash and shares.

Associated British Foods firmed 1.64% to £25.38 after it announced that it continued to expect its sugar division to benefit 'materially' from rising EU sugar prices.

The company also foreshadowed a 'small' drop in margins at discount clothing division Primark.

Home builder Berkeley gained 0.15% to £45.56 on reporting a 31% fall in first-half profit as it sold fewer homes and selling prices declined.

Pub company Ei added 0.57% to 283.6p, even as Britain's competition regulatory raised concerns that a £1.27bn takeover of the company by Stonegate could damage competition in 51 local areas.

The Competition and Markets Authority, however, also found the deal did not raise UK-wide competition concerns. It also gave the parties an opportunity to address its local-level concerns before deciding whether it would move to a deeper investigation.


Cell-based therapeutics ReNeuron developer jumped 11.66% to 142.92p, despite it booking a first-half loss.

The company also posted a large rise in revenue, offset by an increase in R&D spending while it progressed treatment candidates.

Royalty finance provider Duke Royalty gained 0.63 % to 48p after it more than trebled its first-half profit amid a jump in revenue.

Ireland-based oil company Providence Resources added 12.07% to 3.25p, despite announcing that chief executive Tony O'Reilly had stood down, with immediate effect, and that it had started searching for a replacement.

Mobile content minnow Mobile Streams dropped 6.92% to 0.16p on announcing that chief executive Simon Buckingham had stood down, also with immediate effect.

His duties would be performed by chief operating officer Mark Epstein until further notice.

London and Sydney listed resources company Thor Mining dropped 8.78% to 0.36p after it said it was unaware of any information not already announced to the market that could explain a recent rise in its share price.

The company was responding to a price query from the Australian Securities Exchange.

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