StockMarketWire.com - London's blue chip index edged marginally back into the green in mid-morning trading on Friday as investors awaited the monthly US jobs report with cautious optimism.

At 1200, the UK's benchmark index edged 5.56 points, or 0.073%, higher to 7,603.68.

LARGE AND MID CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Athleisure retailer JD Sports said in a trading update full year performance is expected to be in the 'upper quartile' of current market expectations. Investors seemed unconvinced as its shares dipped 0.7% to 821p.

Value retailer B&M European Value Retail (BME) reported softer than expected festive trading with like-for-like sales growth in the UK rising 0.3%. Its shares dropped 7.45% to 367p.

Budget airline Ryanair raised its full year guidance following stronger-than-anticipated Christmas trading.

The company said that forward bookings for January to April were running 1% ahead of the same period last year. The Irish carrier's share price was trading up 7.4% at €16.35.

Investor expectations are that other airlines may also have benefited from similar trends. Easyjet moved 4.2% higher to £14.98, while Wizz Air jumped 5.8% to £40.83 and British Airways owner International Consolidated Airlines increased 4.6% to 664p.

Packaging group Mondi confirmed its CEO Peter Oswald will depart at the end of March. The company's shares eased back 2.5% to £16.68 as investors responded to the announcement.

Ventilation product supplier Volution also announced a change in leadership at the end of March, with Peter Hill stepping down as chairman.

Non-executive director Paul Hollingworth is to take the helm following Mr Hill's departure. Volution's shares dipped 0.43% to 234p following the announcement.

SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Fashion retailer Superdry continued its recent struggles, with shares falling by more than 14% to405p after weak Christmas trading.

Fellow fashion brand Joules added to woes in the sector with shares trading down 20.8% to 179p following a profit warning.


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