- UK stocks opened substantially higher on Friday following gains on Wall Street and strong Chinese industrial production data that indicated the world's second-biggest economy was bouncing back from the Covid-19 crisis.

At 0824, the benchmark FTSE 100 index was up 79.74 points, or 1.4%, at 5.821.28.

Royal Mail dropped 1.1% to 160.54p on announcing that chief executive Rico Back had stood down with immediate effect, having only taken up the role in June 2018.

Royal Mail said revenue in its UK parcels and letters division had fallen £22m in April, while costs in the division had risen £40m.

Gambling company William Hill gained 6.4% to 113.57p after it secured waivers on its loan conditions, as its revenue sank 27% in the 17 weeks to 28 April thanks to a dearth of live sporting events.

Computer services provider Computacenter rallied 11% to £14.87 on announcing that its sales volumes would be 'considerably ahead' in the first half of 2020.

Bus and train company National Express advanced 4.8% to 191p as cost cuts helped it generate positive earnings in the month of April slightly ahead of its expectations, even as its revenue slumped 50%.

Price comparison site rose 0.6% to 317p on news that it had poached Just East head Peter Duffy to be its new chief executive.

Oil services company Petrofac edged up 0.3% to 162.26p as it announced further cost cuts, on top of suspending its dividend, to weather a slump in construction activity and tender delays.

Aviation services provider Signature Aviation ascended 3.1% to 191.15p on the back of a an uptick in flying activity in the first half of May, though business was still down substantially due to travel restrictions.

Wind farm investor The Renewable Infrastructure Group added 2.5% to 130.78p, having pulled out of the Erstrask onshore wind farm development in Sweden following delays in its construction.

Investment company Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust firmed 2.7% to 693p after it lifted its annual dividend 5%, having posted a positive annual performance that beat its benchmark.

Electronics group DiscoverIE was flat at 431p, despite announcing that its annual earnings were expected to be 'slightly ahead' of its expectations amid a stronger-than-expected showing in China.

Publisher and food court group Time Out shed 1.2% to 41p after it extended an existing £20m loan from Oakley Capital Investments, to provide liquidity during the Covid-19 crisis.

Video game developer Sumo gained 4.0% to 190.7p on news that it had acquired services group Lab42 for $0.6m.

Lab42 was a cross-platform work for hire studio, providing co-development and full game development services.

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