London's FTSE 100 was up 0.6% to 7,227.31 in afternoon trade on Friday as investors welcomed the latest Brexit developments in Parliament and signs of progress in Sino-US relations.
Hikma Pharmaceuticals was on the front foot following losses earlier in the week on the back of weaker-than-expected full-year profit, and after a rating upgrade from Stifel on Thursday.
Standard Life Aberdeen was in the green even as Berenberg said it was maintaining its 'hold' rating on the stock as there is more upside elsewhere in the sector.
“Amid all the noise of results, it's easy to lose sight of the core problem facing Standard Life Aberdeen – it is simply not selling enough product. Given the natural turnover of the 'back book' of AUM, SLA's anaemic gross sales make net outflows almost inevitable.
“Elevated redemption activity has accelerated SLA's net outflows, but it did not cause them. Rectifying this requires effort across investment performance, distribution and product design. These are unlikely to be quick fixes.”
Gambling operator GVC Holdings and building materials company CRH were both up, having lost ground a day earlier as their stock went ex-dividend.
Morrisons, which released full-year results earlier this week, was trading lower. Berenberg analyst Victoria Maigrot said in a note that in food retail, Tesco remains the top pick to play the consolidation trade in the UK, although Morrisons, rated 'buy', also provides good value, particularly following strong fourth-quarter results that beat buy side expectations on the top line. She added that Berenberg remains positive on strong capital returns at Morrisons.
Energy services company Wood Group fell ahead of its full-year results next Tuesday.
FTSE 100 – Risers
Paddy Power Betfair (PPB) 5,885.00p 3.25%
Hikma Pharmaceuticals (HIK) 1,607.00p 3.24%
GVC Holdings (GVC) 545.00p 2.83%
TUI AG Reg Shs (DI) (TUI) 820.80p 2.81%
Melrose Industries (MRO) 188.10p 2.73%
Whitbread (WTB) 5,006.00p 2.62%
Standard Life Aberdeen (SLA) 261.90p 2.46%
easyJet (EZJ) 1,252.50p 2.24%
Hargreaves Lansdown (HL.) 1,792.50p 2.19%
CRH (CRH) 2,384.62p 2.08%
FTSE 100 – Fallers
Morrison (Wm) Supermarkets (MRW) 221.75p -1.44%
Informa (INF) 727.80p -0.71%
AstraZeneca (AZN) 6,269.00p -0.63%
DCC (DCC) 6,300.00p -0.63%
Coca-Cola HBC AG (CDI) (CCH) 2,609.00p -0.53%
NMC Health (NMC) 2,638.00p -0.53%
Relx plc (REL) 1,662.00p -0.51%
Compass Group (CPG) 1,722.50p -0.46%
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) 4,546.50p -0.41%
Wood Group (John) (WG.) 580.40p -0.38%