- UK stocks opened 1% higher on Monday after a takeover bid put a rocket under shares in aerospace and defence engineer Meggitt, while banking group HSBC pleased with higher profits.

At 0816, the benchmark FTSE 100 index was up 69.73 points at 7.102,03.

Meggitt jumped 59% to 748p on announcing that it had agreed to be acquired by US aerospace group Parker-Hannifin for £6.3 billion.

Meggitt investors would get 800p in cash for each of their shares in the company, representing a 71% premium to their closing price on Friday.

Separately, Meggitt announced that it had swung to a first-half profit, but its revenue and underlying profit sank as the pandemic continued to hurt the civil aerospace market.

The takeover bid helped others in the aerospace and defence realm, with aerospace engineer Senior rising 5.3% to 170.5p.

Senior had swung to a first-half profit, too, though its underlying performance also was weakened by the pandemic.

Elsewhere in the sector, BAE Systems rose 2.3% to 588.6p, Babcock rose 3.3% to 264.4p and Ultra Electronics rose 1.5% to £32.18.

Banking giant HSBC gained 1.3% to 402.75p after its first-half pre-tax profit more than doubled to $10.84 billion, owing to a sharp decline in credit provisioning as the economic outlook improves.

HSBC said it was seeing emerging signs of unsecured personal lending and commercial lending growth and forecast mid-single-digit lending growth for the full year.

Power utility SSE firmed 1.4% to £14.66 on news that agreed to sell its 33.3% stake in UK gas distribution operator Scotia Gas Networks for £1.23 billion, concluding its asset disposal programme.

The stake was being sold to a consortium comprising existing Scotia Gas Networks shareholder Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan Board and Brookfield Super-Core Infrastructure Partners.

Photo booth and laundry services group Photo-Me climbed 4.8% to 78.6p, having upgraded its annual guidance after it experienced stronger-than-expected trading in May, June and July.

Photo-Me's pre-tax profit for the year through October, before exceptional items, was now expected to be between £25 million to £30 million, up from previous guidance of £21 million to £24 million.

Power control solutions group XP Power added 0.2% to £51.50 after it booked a 59% rise in first-half profit, more than doubled its interim dividend and upgraded its annual guidance.

XP Power declared an interim dividend of 37p, up from 18p year-on-year, and said full-year expectations were ‘modestly’ head of the consensus analysts’ forecast.

Healthcare services provider Totally rose 0.7% to 38p following news that its urgent care division had won a contract expected to be worth about £4 million per annum.

Oil company United Oil & Gas added 1.0% to 3.89p on reporting that flow rates from a new well in Egypt exceeded pre-drill estimates.

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