StockMarketWire.com - UK stocks opened more than 1% higher on Wednesday after beleaguered Chinese property developer Evergrande negotiated a deal with domestic bondholders, cooling fears of an imminent collapse.

At 0822, the benchmark FTSE 100 index was up 75.49 points, or 1.1%, at 7,056.47.

Sports-betting group Entain jumped 8.3% to £24.47 on news that the Ladbrokes and Coral owner had received a sweetened £16.4 billion cash-and-shares bid from US rival Draftkings.

DraftKings was offering £28.00 per share, up from a previous offer of £25.00.

Entain said it would 'carefully consider' the fresh proposal.

Going in the opposite direction was consumer goods group PZ Cussons, which sank 8.3% to 211.48p, having swung to a full-year loss owing to the disposal of Nigerian dairy business Nutricima.

PZ Cussons's underlying profit rose 11% and it lifted its dividend 5% to 6.09p per share.

The company, however, said its revenue in the first quarter of the new financial year had slipped 9% as demand for hygiene products wanes post lockdowns.

Cruise company Carnival added 0.5% to £15.598 even after it extended pauses on cruise vacations in Australia and New Zealand, where an outbreak of the Delta coronavirus variant has sparked lockdowns.

Over-50s services group Saga slid 1.2% to 347.2p after it swung to a modest first-half profit, thanks to gains on a property disposal.

But Saga also recorded an underlying loss as the pandemic continues to weigh on its cruise business.

Safety-equipment company Halma climbed 0.9% to £30.83 on upgrading its annual profit outlook on the back of better-than-expected first-half sales.

Halma was now expecting an adjusted pre-tax profit 'slightly ahead' of previous guidance for low double-digit percentage organic constant currency growth.

Gene and cell therapy group Oxford Biomedica rallied 5.5% to £15.585, having swung to a first-half profit after its revenue more than doubled, thanks partly to a Covid-19 vaccine agreement with AstraZeneca.

Looking forward, Oxford Biomedica said operating earnings for the second half would rise year-on-year, but be below the first half of 2021 due to higher R&D, development, administrative and bioprocessing costs.

Bowling alley operating Ten Entertainment gained 5.6% to 269.38p as it reported a deeper first-half loss after the pandemic lockdowns squashed sales, but upgraded its guidance as demand comes roaring back.

Ten Entertainment said sales had recovered to a record following an easing of lockdowns and as it benefits from a 'staycation' trend, with like-for-like sales in the 11 weeks since 27 June up 42%.

Cosmetics group Warpaint London fell 1.8% to 213p, having swung to a modest first-half profit as demand started recovering following as easing of lockdowns and more stores started stocking its products.

Warpaint's revenue jumped 36%, though gross profit margin shrank to 34.5%, down from 35.1% in the second half of 2020, amid supply-side price inflation and significant increases in freight costs.

Story provided by StockMarketWire.com