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RBC Capital Markets initiated coverage of Paragon Banking Group at 'sector perform' with a 500p price target on Friday, noting that buy-to-let growth is still strong and Paragon is the only lender with an expanding margin.
London's FTSE 100 was up 1. 6% to 7,484. 12 in afternoon trade on Friday as the pound took a tumble after PM Theresa May said Brexit talks with the EU have hit an "impasse".
US stocks looked set for a muted open on Friday following a record session the day before on the back of strength in the technology sector and easing worries about the US-China trade conflict.
London stocks had extended gains by midday on Friday as sterling slid on jitters about a no-deal Brexit, while a strong performance from the mining sector also provided a boost.
Moss Bros pinned the blame on the World Cup and the hot weather on Friday as it said it swung to a loss in the first half and warned that full-year operating profit will be "materially" lower than current market expectations of £2. 3m.
Business growth in the eurozone eased in September as trade war concerns and political uncertainty hit exports, according to preliminary data released on Friday.
Agricultural and engineering group Carr's has announced the acquisition of Suffolk-based animal health products maker Animax for up to £8. 5m in cash.
London stocks rose in early trade on Friday, taking their cue from a record session on Wall Street as the dollar weakened and worries about the trade conflict between the US and China eased.
London stocks looked set for a positive open on Friday, taking their cue from upbeat sessions in the US and Asia after the Dow Jones and the S&P 500 hit all-time highs a day earlier.
London's FTSE 100 was up 0. 4% to 7,360. 55 in afternoon trade on Thursday.
Sales of US existing homes were steady in August, according to data from the National Association of Realtors.
Barclays upgraded Aveva to 'overweight' from 'equalweight' on Thursday and lifted the price target to 3,150p from 2,800p following the company's capital markets day a day earlier.
Shore Capital upgraded online fashion retailer Boohoo to 'buy' from 'hold' on Thursday following a 13% drop in the share price in the last three months.
US stocks looked set for small gains at the open on Thursday as investors shrugged off the trade conflict between the US and China- for now - and looked ahead to a slew of data releases.
London stocks were still in the green by midday on Thursday, but gains were modest as the pound was lifted by an unexpected jump in retail sales last month and Brexit hopes.
Rio Tinto outlined its plans to return around $3. 2bn to shareholders on Thursday through a share buyback programme, following the disposal of its coal assets.
European stocks rose in early trade on Thursday as investors brushed aside concerns about trade tensions between the US and China.
Soco International reported a rise in first-half profit and revenue on Thursday and said it has agreed to buy privately-owned Egypt-focused oil and gas company Merlon for around $215m.
AIM-listed double glazing group Safestyle said on Thursday that it swung to a loss in the first half as revenues dropped in "extremely challenging" conditions.
French Connection was under the cosh on Thursday as the fashion retailer said losses widened in the first half amid difficult trading in the UK.