UK stocks open 0.6% higher after key Brexit vote delayed

08:55 21/10/2019
StockMarketWire.com - UK stocks opened higher on Monday after Asian exchanges were lifted by hopes of progress in US-China trade talks, and a further delay on parliament's vote on Boris Johnson's Brexit deal pressured the pound.

At 0843, the benchmark FTSE 100 index was up 45.17 points, or 0.6%, at 7.195.74.

Food delivery company Just Eat reversed 6.1% to 587p after its revenue grew by a disappointing 25% in the third quarter, as softer consumer spending in the UK weighed on orders.

Software group Micro Focus International fell 5.4% to 1,029p after Open Text doused media speculation that it was considering an acquisition of the company.

Medical equipment manufacturer Smith & Nephew dropped 5.4% to 1,731p on news that chief executive Namal Nawana was standing down at the end of October to 'pursue other opportunities outside of the UK'.

Nawana would be replaced by Roland Diggelmann, who joined the company's board as a non-executive director in March 2018 was most recently CEO of Roche Diagnostics.

AstraZeneca shed 0.6% to 6,733p as its type-2 diabetes drug was approved by US regulators to reduce the risk of hospitalisation for heart failure in adults with the condition and established cardiovascular disease.

Industrial fastenings manufacturer Trifast sank 21% to 152.88p after it warned on profits amid a continuation of challenging market conditions into the second quarter of its financial year.

Petra Diamonds fell 1.8% to 7.94p as it reported a 24% fall in first-quarter revenue owing to lower gem prices and a poorer product mix.

Technology company Watchstone surged 41% to 150.82p after it agreed to a settlement of claims made by Slater & Gordon.

Cybersecurity software group Osirium Technologies gained 5.9% to 36p on announcing that it would raise around £4m via an issue of shares and convertible notes, to support the expansion of its business.

Chemicals company investor Wilmcote shed 7.4% to 50p after its chief executive and chief financial officer both stood down, with immediate effect.

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