StockMarketWire.com - Reports cash-strapped Chinese property firm Evergrande will make a key interest payment at the weekend helped lift the FTSE 100 despite weak UK retail sales.

By midday the index was up 0.6% to 7,230.94.

UK retail sales volumes fell 0.2% in September, bucking expectations for a monthly rise of 0.5%.

London Stock Exchange fell 4% to £77.36 after despite reporting income growth of 2.1% in the third-quarter of the year. The bourse operator also said it was on 'comfortably' on-track to achieve £125 million of cost synergies in 2021 from the integration of Refinitiv.

Hotel chain Intercontinental Hotels fell 2% to £48.97 even as room revenue jumped in Q3 year-on-year, and was now 21% below 2019 levels amid improved occupancy and rates following a boost from strong domestic demand over the summer months.

Sportswear retailer JD Sports Fashion rose 2.8% to £10.68 after it had acquired an 80% stake in Cosmos Sport.

Supermarket giant J Sainsbury slipped 0.5% to 297.8p after confirming it had received interest in a possible acquisition of Sainsbury's Bank, but said talks had ended as the potential offers didn't offer value to shareholders.

Touch sensors manufacturer Zytronic jumped 9% to 180.2p after forecasting a profit for the full year amid a 'considerable' turnaround and a return to profitability in the second half of the year, that offset first-half losses.

Insulation and roofing company SIG climbed 4.6% to 48.46p after upgrading its outlook on profit after reporting a rise in sales in the third quarter of the quarter of the year following strong performance in its UK distribution business.

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