- UK stocks rallied in early trade Friday, spurred by a conclusive Conservative election victory and reports that the US and China were poised to sign a first-phase trade deal.

At 0843, the benchmark FTSE 100 index was up 112.89 points, or 1.6%, at 7.386.36. The domestically-focused FTSE 250 jumped around 4.0%.

Utility and transport stocks, beaten down recently by fears of Labor renationalisation plans, were strong gainers, with BT rising 6.8% to 202p, Centrica 8.7% to 87.74p and Stagecoach 14% to 150.4p.

House builders also fared well, with Taylor Whimpey up 13% to 197.35p and Persimmon up 11% to £27.93, as did banks, with Barclays up 7.8% to 185.25p, Lloyds up 8.0% to 66p and RBS up 11% to 257.5p.

Export-focused companies were having a tougher morning, due to the election result sending the pound higher on expectations that Prime Minister Boris Johnson would swiftly push through his Brexit deal.

Rolls-Royce fell 1.9% to 690.8p, GlaxoSmithKline reversed 1.7% to £17.154 and Reckitt Benckiser shed 1.3% to £59.52.

In corporate news, ten-pin bowling alley operator Hollywood Bowl rose 5.5% to 248p as it booked a 15% rise in annual profit driven by higher game volumes and increased customer spending on food and drinks.

Gold miner Centamin gained 1.4% to 123.5p after it appointed current chief financial officer Ross Jerrard as its interim chief executive. Centamin said the search for a permanent CEO replacement was progressing well.

Water treatment group Amiad Water Systems slumped 19% to 220p on warning that it expected to post annual profits and revenue below market expectations.

Investment group BMO Global Smaller Companies rose 1.8% to 143.8p after it posted a positive return in the first half that beat its benchmark.

Miton UK MicroCap Trust added 4.9% to 50.95p, even as it posted a negative performance in the first half -- blamed on Brexit uncertainty that looks to be clearing in the wake of Boris Johnson's election win.

Gambling software provider GAN advanced 4.3% to 142.9p on noting official state figures showing that sports wagering revenue in the state of New Jersey had risen during the month of November on-year, but fallen on-month.

Video game company Codemasters rose 3.2% to 255.33p, having revealed that a title previously identified as being tied to its acquisition of Slightly Mad Studios would be linked to the Hollywood movie franchise Fast & Furious.

The game, Fast & Furious Crossroads, was set to launch in May 2020.

Oil and gas company Hurricane Energy gained 5.6% to 31.89p as it forecast revenue of around $165m for its financial year through December, following a 'strong' performance from its Lancaster project in the UK.

Story provided by