UK stocks reverse early weakness despite China's weakest growth in 30 years, cyber firm Avast tops FTSE All-Share risers

12:41 18/10/2019
StockMarketWire.com - UK stocks turned around early trading weakness at midday despite China releasing disappointing economic growth figures. The mood of investors appears to be homing in on hopes that Boris Johnson's Brexit deal will finally bring this near-four year political mess to an end, although the agreement faces a tight parliamentary vote on Saturday which could go either way.

China's gross domestic product grew by 6% in the third quarter, the weakest quarterly rate since 1992.

At 12.20pm, the benchmark FTSE 100 index was up around 13 points at 7,195.93, with domestic stocks including British Gas-owner Centrica, housebuilder Berkeley and Tesco among the front runners.

ACTION IN THE HOTELS SPACE

Hotel giant InterContinental Hotels fell 2.5% to £46.185 after its revenue per available room fell 0.8% in the third quarter amid tougher trading conditions in the US and China.

Yet smaller peer Elegant Hotels saw its share price jump more than 56% to 109.5p on news that it had received a $130m takeover bid from Marriott International, pitched at 110p per Elegant share.

London Stock Exchange rose 1.3% to £71.34 on the back of a 12% improvement in third-quarter income led by its information services and clearing businesses.

CYBER FIRM TOPS FTSE ALL-SHARE LEADER BOARD

Cybersecurity company Avast jumped to the top of the FTSE All-Share leader board after posting a positive third quarter trading update that continued its upbeat trends seen through 2019.

Avast posted 9% growth in adjusted revenue, after stripping out discontinued and sold-off parts of the business, sending its share price nearly 6% higher to 390.2p. Avast IPO'd at 250p in May 2018.

Logistics company Wincanton turned an earlier loss into a 0.8% rise to 236p after it announced that it was undertaking a diligence exercise on Eddie Stobart to assess the potential merits of a takeover of its rival. Eddie Stobart shares were suspended from trading.

Eddie Stobart shares stayed flat at 71p.

Animal pharmaceuticals company Dechra Pharmaceuticals shed 1.7% to £26.30 after it said that it was still resolving previous supply issues, though many had been mitigated.

Berlin residential property specialist Phoenix Spree Deutschland rose 3.5% to 323p on announcing that it would commence a buyback of its shares, having accelerated sales of condominiums.

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