- UK stocks opened higher on Monday amid hopes that US lawmakers can agree on a fresh round of stimulus, as the Covid-19 caseload continues to surge around the globe.

At 0826, the benchmark FTSE 100 index was up 37.23 points, or 0.6%, at 5,956.81.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Sunday set a 48-hour deadline for US lawmakers to cut a deal on economic aid that could be delivered before the 2020 election.

In local company news, online fashion retailer Boohoo slumped 14% to 271.75p after it confirmed that PricewaterhouseCoopers was standing down as its auditor.

The update came after the Financial Times reported that PwC was standing down due to concerns about the standard of corporate governance at Boohoo.

Pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca edged up 1p to £82.18 after it received positive regulatory decisions in Europe for separate treatments for heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Infrastructure investor John Laing inched up to 293.32p on agreeing to sell a portfolio of Australian wind farms to First Sentier Investors for $285 million, or about £157 million.

Consumer gift packaging business IG Design jumped 9.4% to 454.9p, having guided for higher-than-expected adjusted profit in the first half, amid a 40% surge in revenue.

IG Design, however, said it remained cautious on its full-year outlook amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

Specialist currency manager Record firmed 1.0% to 44.02p as its assets under management grew 4% in the second quarter.

Disease test-kit supplier Omega Diagnostics added 1.0% to 99.5p after it signed a supply contract with Abingdon Health regarding the production of rapid tests in the UK for Covid-19.

Office and industrial property investor McKay Securities rose 2.7% to 197.5p on announcing that it had collected 70% of rent due for the September quarter.

McKay Securities said the rate would increase to 87% on receipt of agreed monthly payments.

Biotechnology company Midatech Pharma rallied 6.1% to 35p, having reported encouraging headline results from a phase-one study in patients with diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma, which is a primary brain tumour. At 8:41am:

[LON:AZN] Astrazeneca PLC share price was +35.5p at 8252.5p

[LON:BOO] Boohoo Group PLC share price was -38.95p at 276.65p

[LON:IGR] Ig Design Group PLC share price was +44p at 460p

[LON:MCKS] McKay Securities PLC share price was +0.25p at 192.25p

[LON:MTPH] Midatech Pharma Plc share price was +2p at 35p

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