StockMarketWire.com - The FTSE 100 closed much higher on the first day of trading for 2020, up 0.8% at 7,604.30. This was matched by a solid open in the US, with the S&P 500 0.4% higher at 3,242.31 around 4.30pm UK time.

News of Chinese stimulus efforts boosted sentiment and resources firms, sensitive to what is happening in China given the country's heavy consumption of commodities, were among the top performers.

LARGE AND MID CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Wealth manager Quilter followed the UK's flagship index higher, rising 2.8% to 165.5p after announcing the completion of the disposal of Quilter Life Assurance to ReAssure Group for a total cash consideration of c.£445m.

Tullow Oil has tumbled 7.3% to 59.1p after reporting a discovery at its Carapa-1 exploration well.

The company said it had encountered approximately four metres of net oil pay based on preliminary interpretation, lower than pre-drill forecasts.

CRH has bounced 1.9% to £30.99 after confirming that Richie Boucher has become chairman of the board.

Boucher officially took over as chairman on 1 January 2020, succeeding N. Hartery who stepped down from the board on 31 December 2019.

Intellectual property business IP Group has climbed 5.2% to 74.7p on the news that its portfolio holding Oxford Nanopore has completed a £109.5m financing and it will realise £22m cash from a partial sale of its holding in the business.

IP Group also announced that cash realisations during 2019 totalled more than £75m compared to the £30m achieved in 2018.

Iron ore company Ferrexpo gained 1.5% to 161.3p as it announced a special interim dividend of 6.6 US cents which will be paid on 17 January 2020 to shareholders on the register at the close of business on 10 January 2020.

SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Energy firm Eqtec was up 47.8% to 0.17p as it said it had finalised and signed the legal documentation which allows the financial close of the proposed construction and operation of a 2 megawatt biomass plant at the North Folk project in the US.

Restaurant operator Tasty gained 34.1% to 3.66p as it confirmed trading was in line with expectations.


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