- The FTSE 100 remained in sight of nine-month highs as US stocks hit new records as a weak jobs report was expected to put pressure on US policymakers to greenlight a stimulus package.

By the close the FTSE 100 was up 0.9% to 6,550.23 and in the US the S&P 500 had gained 0.6% to 3,690.26 by 4.30pm UK time.

Associated British Foods said it expected Primark sales and profit to be higher this year even as it raised its estimate for lost sales owing to temporary store closures during the November lockdown.

Its shares climbed 2.7% to £23.66.

SSE has entered into an agreement to sell a 10% stake in the first two phases of Dogger Bank Wind Farm to Italian energy giant Eni for an equity consideration of £202.5 million.

Shares were up 2.3% at £13.93.

Real Estate developer Land Securities said it had exchanged contracts to sell 1 & 2 New Ludgate to Sun Venture for £552 million.

Its shares rose 2.4% to 728.9p.

Pets at Home Group will take a profit hit of £35 million after it announced it is repaying the £28.9 million of business rates relief received across the business during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The company said it was doing this as it is no longer be able to offset Covid-specific costs against relief.

Its shares slid 4.1% to 381.8p

Homebuilder Berkeley reported a fall in first-half profit on lower sales of homes owing to the impact of the lockdown earlier this year.

For the six months ended 31 October, pre-tax profit fell 16.6% to £230.8 million year-on-year as revenue fell to £895.9 million from £930.9 million.

Shares fell 1.6% to £47.76, paring earlier more significant losses.

Estate agency group Hunters Property confirmed media reports it had received a preliminary approach from The Property Franchise Group about a possible takeover.

Its share price moved higher by 19.7% to 70p, down from its intra-day highs.

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