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Positive reports about Sino-US trade talks gave extra impetus to the market mood on Friday.
Plastic packaging manufacturer RPC Group has for the fourth time pushed back the deadline for private equity firm Apollo Global Management to make a takeover offer.
Rio Tinto confirmed that iron ore shipments were at the upper end of its guidance and copper production was ahead, but production for the former will be flat in 2019, with the latter expected to fall.
Bonhill Group, the business publisher and events organiser, said it expected to beat market expectations for underlying growth over the nine months of its "full year".
UK retail sales weakened much more than expected at the end of last year, official figures revealed on Friday.
London stocks shivered lower on Thursday amid fresh concerns about global trade relations, worries about the domestic housing market and a late rally for the pound, but solid updates from the likes of Primark owner AB Foods and Sage Group helped to minimise losses.
Barclays analysts predict that uncertainty around airline demand will be sky-high in 2019, with airlines also needing to battle fuel headwinds, with easyJet shares seen as most at-risk.
Food producers and the software and computer services sectors flattered to deceive as one leading light cast a reflected glory on their peers, while oil companies and housebuilders were more consistent in their slumps on Thursday trading.
N Brown, the plus size and mature-lady clothing retailer, reported weaker sales over the Christmas period as it strove to keep profit margins steady.
Funding Circle enjoyed a strong finish to 2018, with revenues topping guidance from the peer-to-peer business lender's initial public offer in October.
Whitbread confirmed that profits are likely to remain flat for the next year but said it will begin buying back £500m worth of shares after completing the sale of Costa Coffee earlier than expected.
The pound's reaction to Theresa May huge defeat in the meaningful vote on her Brexit deal was muted on Wednesday, with investors and analysts trying to decipher the political runes for the best way to make a buck.
Value retailer TheWorks reported flat adjusted losses for the first half of the year, but declared its first dividend payment since floating last summer and said sales momentum had continued in the second half.
London's blue chip stocks were dragged into the red by oil companies and miners, while life insurers and Brexit-sensitive sectors such as retailers and housebuilders were noticeable on the upside.
SSE is highly rated by analysts, but UBS downgraded the energy giant to 'neutral' on Wednesday as it is "not out of the woods yet".
UK house prices continued to subside toward the end of last year, according to the official Land Registry figures.
UK inflation eased off at the end of last year, as expected, due to a fall in fuel prices and airfares.
Tullow Oil revealed full year oil production fell 1% into the bottom half of its guided range, but said it expects to grow output 6-15% in 2019.
Pearson expects full-year profits to come in just above the middle of its target range and guided to growth of 8-18% for 2019.