- The FTSE 100 started Monday on the front foot, but gains were kept in check by ongoing worries about the omicron variant of Covid-19.

At 09:59 the FTSE 100 was up 47 points, or 0.68%, to 7,091.42

Irn-bru maker AG Barr upgraded its full-year expectations amid ongoing 'strong' performance in 'on the go' and hospitality sectors. Its share price rose 4.9% to 491.00 pence.

Shopping centre owner Hammerson was up 3.5% to 31.5 pence after confirming press speculation that it was in talks to sell Silverburn, its flagship destination near Glasgow.

Aquaculture biotechnology company Benchmark slid 2.2% to 63.90 pence after reporting narrower annual losses as its turnaround strategy continued to take shape.

Online education company Dev Clever was flat at 31.90 pence despite upgrading its full-year guidance on the core earnings after revenue soared year-on-year as new business wins bolstered performance.

Biopharmaceutical company Avacta was up 6.5% to 127.78 pence after reporting that the US Food and Drug Administration had approved its investigational new drug application for AVA6000.

Financial software company Arcontech warned on revenue after one customer reduced its market spend with the company and another decided against renewing its contract. Its shares fell 15% to 107.5 pence.

International Personal Finance swung to a profit in the first nine months of the year, as cost cuts offset a fall in revenue. Its shares fell 1.9% to 125.00 pence.

Venture capital firm Molten Ventures was up 4% to 910 pence after reporting a jump in operating profit as the value of its portfolio was boosted by strong returns on exit and new fund inflows. Story provided by

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