StockMarketWire.com - The FTSE 100 was up 0.4% to 6,490.27 by the close as the sterling briefly flirted with a 12-month high against the dollar on hopes for a Brexit deal.

In the US the S&P 500 index was up 0.3% to 3,678.52 by 4.30pm UK time.

Gambling group Flutter Entertainment was up 7% to £143 as it announced a deal to buy-out the part of the FanDuel fantasy sports platform it does not already own for $4.17 billion.

Supermarket chains Sainsbury's and Morrisons announced that they will pay business rates in full, waiving their right to relief after a similar move by Tesco yesterday. The payments totalled £684 million between them.

Sainsbury's shares were up 4.3% to 219p, while Morrisons shares were down 0.3% to 178.2p.

Countryside Properties announced plans to separate its housebuilding business amid limited growth opportunities following increased focus on growing its regeneration business.

Shares were up 4.6% to 461.2p.

Fellow housebuilder MJ Gleeson was up 12.3% to 784p as it guided for performance ahead of expectations ahead of its AGM.

Educational technology firm RM gained 16.5% to 240p as it said it would beat expectations for the year to 30 November.

Financial services company Standard Life Aberdeen said it had sold part of its stake in Indian subsidiary HDFC Life Insurance Company, raising approximately £172 million after taxes and expenses.

The company's share price rose 1.8% to 288.2p.

Public transport company Go-Ahead Group lifted its expectations for its London & international bus division, and kept its outlook on its rail division unchanged.

Its shares climbed 7.1% to 919.5p.

Savings and retirement company Phoenix Group announced plans to become a net-zero carbon business by 2050, while also reporting strong financial performance for the 12 months to the end of September 2020.

Phoenix's share price was up 0.7% to 741.4p.

Property developer St Modwen Properties has cut its debt and hailed a strong forward order book as it enters the last month of its financial year.

Its share price moved 4.9% higher to 400p.


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