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UK stocks open 0.6% higher after Brexit delayed

By BFN News | 08:43 AM | Friday 15 March, 2019

UK stocks opened higher on Friday after local politicians voted overwhelmingly to delay Brexit in the hope of avoiding a disorderly departure from the EU. At 0839, the FTSE 100 index was up 39.41 points, or 0.6%, at 7.224.84. Pub owner JD Wetherspoon gained 2.1%, despite reporting an expected fall in first-half profit, after its sales in the six weeks to 10 March jumped 9.6%, helped by 'excellent weather'. Restaurant Group rallied 12% after it also revealed a recent sales boost. Annual profit slumped 51% owing to write-downs and expenses for acquiring Wagamama. But like-for-like sales rose 2.8% in the 10 weeks to 10 March. Another pub company, Ei Group, was also having a good morning, rising 2.2% after it launched an up to £35m share buyback. High-end housebuilder Berkeley gained 1.2% as it reiterated its previously upgraded guidance for 8% growth in annual profit. Recruitment group SThree advanced 3.1% after it boosted gross profit by 9% in the first quarter on-year, driven by strong growth in contract employment. Proton Power Systems jumped 11% on revealing that it had agreed to form a venture in the Czech Republic with Skoda Electric to develop fuel cell electric buses. Software company Oxford Metrics gained 3.4% on news that its motion measurement unit Vicon had signed a contract with Sandbox VR. Symphony Environmental Technologies gained 2.6%, despite posting a fall in annual profit, as it increased R&D investment in its biodegradable plastics technology. Content producer Zinc Media Group slumped 14% as its annual losses deepened. Story provided by

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