StockMarketWire.com - UK stocks opened substantially higher on Friday after Donald Trump laid out reopening plans for the US economy.

At 0825, the benchmark FTSE 100 index was up 179.3 points, or 3.2%, at 5.807.75.

The rally came despite China announcing its first ever quarterly economic contraction on record, with its gross domestic product falling 6.8% in the three months through March.

Mining company Rio Tinto rose 4.9% to £38.74 as it reported a 2% rise in first-quarter iron ore production after its operations recovered from cyclone activity in Australia a year earlier.

Rio Tinto, however, also downgraded its annual copper output guidance, citing lower grades, and cut its capital spending plans due to the Covid-19 crisis.

Gambling company Flutter Entertainment rose 7.4% to £83.70 on announcing that its first-quarter revenue had risen 29%, but that it had taken a more recent hit from the suspension of horse racing in the UK and Ireland.

Flutter Entertainment's revenue declined 32% in the four weeks from 16 Mach, though a 46% reduction in sports revenue was actually less than it expected due to continuation of racing in Australia and US.

Healthcare services group Mediclinic International shed 0.8% to 265p, having suspended dividend payments and agreed debt covenant waivers.

Hedge fund manager Man Group climbed 1.8% to 124.35p as it became one of the minority of companies to not cancel its 2019 final dividend.

Man said it would also keep its share buyback going, as it continued to experience net inflows into its funds.

Premier Inn hotel chain owner Whitbread rose 6.4% to £27.40 on confirming that it as an eligible user of a UK government corporate debt initiative designed to help companies weather the pandemic.

Primark owner Associated British Foods added 5.5% to £20.42 as it too confirmed its eligibility for the programme.

Flexible office space supplier Workspace firmed 1.2% to 782p despite offering customers at its business centres a 50% rent reduction during the UK government Covid-19 lockdown period.

Real estate agency Foxtons gained 12% to 42.82p, even as it booked a fall in quarterly revenue and launched a £22m equity raising to bolster its balance sheet.

Estate agency Purplebricks rallied 16% to 39.94p on news that James Davies would resign as its chief financial officer next month.

David would be replaced by Andrew Botha, the former CFO of Zoopla property owner ZPG.

Service provider to remote locations RA International jumped 17% to 39.7p, as it reported a 35% rise in annual profit and said it would pay a higher final dividend, while touting the resilience of its business model to the Covid-19 crisis.

Maritime surveillance group SRT Marine gained 6.5% to 33p, having confirmed it had raised £5.3m of cash via a combination of loans and equity as part of a 'Covid-19 resilience' financing drive. Story provided by StockMarketWire.com