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London's FTSE 100 was up 0. 8% to 7,254. 86 in afternoon trade on Friday as investors mulled better-than-expected domestic retail sales data.
James Latham has bought Irish timber merchant Abbey Woods for up to €2. 6bn.
Mr Kipling, Bisto and Oxo owner Premier Foods has called off the sale of its Ambrosia brand.
US stocks looked poised to eke out small gains at the open on Friday as investors considered the prospect of more Sino-US trade talks next week.
London stocks had pushed higher by midday on Friday, with sentiment boosted by stronger-than-expected domestic retail sales data.
Gold miner Centamin announced a significant Cote d'Ivoire resource increase on Friday.
Investment manager Standard Life Aberdeen was under the cosh on Friday as it emerged that Mitsubishi UFJ Trust and Banking Corporation sold its entire stake in the company.
Lloyds Banking Group has appointed Morgan Stanley investment banker William Chalmers as its chief financial officer, succeeding George Culmer, whose plan to retire in the third quarter of 2019 was announced back in October.
Patisserie Holdings - the parent company of Patisserie Valerie - has sold its deli and bakery chain, Baker & Spice, to the Department of Coffee & Social Affairs for £2. 5m.
London stocks were steady in early trade on Friday as investors mulled the Commons' rejection of Theresa May's latest Brexit deal and eyed the release of UK retail sales data.
London stocks looked set to edge lower at the open on Friday as investors mulled the Commons' rejection of Theresa May's latest Brexit deal and eyed the latest release of UK retail sales data.
Home repairs and improvements business HomeServe has signed an agreement with Mitsubishi Corporation (MC) to establish a 50:50 joint venture in Japan.
The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits unexpectedly rose last week, while the monthly average hit its highest level in a year, according to figures from the Labor Department.
Urban regeneration and land development company MJ Gleeson posted a 62. 8% surge in first-half pre-tax profit on Thursday amid "robust" demand, as it hiked its dividend and sounded a confident note on the outlook.
US stocks looked set for more gains at the open on Thursday as optimism about Sino-US trade talks continued to underpin the mood.
London stocks were still in the green by midday on Thursday, underpinned by solid performances from the likes of Micro Focus and AstraZeneca, although Coca-Cola HBC lost its fizz as it struck a cautious note about the outlook.
European stocks were holding on to gains by midday on Thursday as investors waded through a raft of corporate releases and some key data on German and eurozone economic growth.
FTSE 250 insurer Lancashire Holdings said on Thursday that it swung to a profit in 2018 despite higher levels of loss activity related to natural catastrophes.
Germany narrowly avoided a recession last year as growth in the fourth quarter was flat, according to preliminary data released by Destatis on Thursday.
Shares in Restaurant Group tumbled on Thursday as the company said chief executive officer Andy McCue is leaving due to "extenuating personal circumstances".