StockMarketWire.com - The FTSE 100 index was up 0.86% to 5,916.47 to in early trading this morning despite recent gloomy news on economic growth and job cuts.

Rolls-Royce announced plans to raise approximately £2 billion through a fully underwritten 10 for 3 rights issue, aimed at improving liquidity and reducing balance sheet leverage.

It also plans to raise a further £1 billion through debt issuance 'in the near future', and has agreed a new two-year loan facility of £1 billion conditional on the success of the rights issue.

It shares were down 5% to 123.5p

Medical technology giant Smith & Nephew has forecast a 4% decline in underlying revenue for the third quarter of 2020.

This marked a significant improvement on the second quarter of this year, when underlying revenue fell by 29.3%.

Shares were up 2.8% to £15.47 in early trading.

Motoring and cycling products and services group Halfords upgraded its first-half outlook on profit amid strong sales.

First-half pre-tax profit was expected to be in excess of £55m as a result of continued momentum in cycling and motoring products and services.

Halfords Group shares rocketed 16% on the announcement this morning, to 210p.

Soft drinks maker Britvic said it had completed the sale of its juice assets in France to Refresco. The sale included three juice manufacturing sites, related private label juice business and the Fruite brand.

Its share price was down 2.1% this morning to 803p.

Financial services company Standard Life Aberdeen is to extend its share buyback programme until the end of January. The company repurchased £279 million worth of shares between 19 February and 30 September 2020.

Shares were up 2.5% on the news to 231p.

Investment company Clear Leisure said its shares would be temporarily suspended as it was unable to deliver its final results by 30 September 2020.

Its shares closed yesterday at 27p each.

Home improvement retailer Kingfisher has completed the sale of Castorama Russia to Maxidom, a home improvement company in Russia, for a RUB 7.4 billion, or about £73 million.

Its stock is up just over 1% in early trading, at 299p.

FX risk management and payments company Alpha FX upgraded its full-year performance expectations, forecasting earnings to be line with that of last year as 'strong' performance in July and August continued into September.

The company's shares were up 3.7% to £11.15.

Cloud computing group Iomart said it expected revenue to grow 2% in the first half of the year amid virus-led slowdown in activity.

Iomart's shares gained 1.3% to 359.5p on the news.

Analytics-as-a-service company Actual Experience jumped 8.1% to 113.6p as it received an initial order from Oracle for its new human experience management offering.

Finance and asset management law firm Burford Capital reported a fall in first-half profit as the impact of the pandemic dented new business wins.

However, its shares were up by more than 14.5% to 715.6p in early trading.

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