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UK stocks open 0.6% higher after dovish Fed comments

By BFN News | 08:48 AM | Friday 11 January, 2019

UK stocks open higher on Friday after US Fed chairman Jerome Powell said the central bank would be patient about raising interest rates and investors held onto hopes of a trade-war breakthrough. At 0842, the benchmark FTSE 100 index was up 43.45 points, or 0.6%, at 6.986.32. Struggling regional carrier Flybe plunged 77% after it agreed to be taken over for a mere £2.2m by a joint venture comprising Stobart Group, Virgin Atlantic and funds managed by Cyrus Capital Partners. The venture, dubbed Connect Airways, also offered a £20m bridge loan facility and up to £80m of further funding to support the airline's growth. But investors hoping a takeover battle would push up Flybe's share price have been left bitterly disappointed. Stobart shares rallied 7.7%. Builder's merchant and DIY outfit Grafton, meanwhile, firmed 2.5% on announcing that it expected earnings 'slightly' ahead of the top end of analyst expectations. Online fashion retailer Quiz tumbled 23% as it downgraded its earnings and revenue guidance in the wake of a tough Christmas trading period and heavier spending on staff and marketing. Online electrical retailer AO World gained 3.7% after an 8.2% rise in third-quarter revenue helped it keep its full-year guidance intact. Mens' suit merchant Moss Brothers softened 0.8% as it reiterated it expected to post an annul loss as its margins shrank, while forecasting an 'extremely challenging' period ahead. Management software provider Sopheon fell 4.1%, even as it said 'early indications' pointed to it posting a higher-than-expected annual profit on the back of continue sales growth. Legal services marketing business NAHL slumped 23% on announcing that it expected to post profits 5-10% below its previous expectations amid a 'disappointing' end to the year. Remote-tracking technology company Starcom shed 3.0% after announcing that it now expected to break even at the earnings level in 2018 following a delay to a key order in Africa. Story provided by

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