StockMarketWire.com - The FTSE 100 was firmly higher by midday, rising 1.6% to 5,874.24 supported by strength in the banking and oil and gas sectors.

The move came amid signs the recovery in the UK economy from the height of the coronavirus crisis is running out of steam.

US futures markets implied Wall Street would see modest gains in the wake of last night's final presidential debate.

Barclays gained 7.3% to 111.92p, having reported a jump in third-quarter profit to £1.1 billion, boosted by an absence of payment protection insurance provisions that had weighed on previous results.

The bank's credit impairment charge was £0.6 billion, up 32% year-on-year, but down 63% versus the prior quarter.

McCarthy & Stone, which builds and operates retirement homes, soared 41% to 117p on news that it had agreed to be acquired by a fund managed by private equity group Lone Star for around £630 million.

McCarthy & Stone investors had been offered 115p cash per share by Lone Star Real Estate Fund VI, representing a 39% premium to the company's closing price on Thursday.

Elsewhere, Intercontinental Hotels shed 1.7% to £41.90 after it reported a 53% slump in third-quarter room revenue as the hospitality sector continued to be battered by the Covid-19 pandemic.

On a slightly more positive note, the fall for the third quarter wasn't as steep as the 75% drop recorded for the second.

Bourse operator London Stock Exchange dipped 0.5% to £84.78 as it reported a 2% uptick in third-quarter revenue, led by a rise in its post-trade clearing business.

The company said it expected its planned acquisition of financial data group Refinitiv to be wrapped up in the first quarter of 2021.

Plastic products supplier Essentra added 0.3% to 264p, even as it reported a 6.7% year-on-year decline in third-quarter sales.

Weakness at Essentra's packaging division was partially offset by an improved performance at its components business.

Infrastructure services group Nexus Infrastructure slumped 7.4% to 126p, having guided for a full-year loss, though at an improved level compared to its expectations in June.

Clinical technology group Sensyne Health gained 8% to 99.9p as it formed a research collaboration with Bristol Myers Squibb.

Technology company Vianet gained 8.4% to 69.4p on announcing first-half trading ahead of its Covid-19-revised forecasts.


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