Almost all UK stocks were in the green on Friday, with transport, construction and telecoms stocks at the forefront, while automobiles & parts were in the red despite reported progress in US-China trade talks.
Clarkson led the way as, a few days after the shipping services group's final results, chairman Bill Thomas and senior non-executive director Peter Blackhouse snapped up shares for a combined £121,559.

Broker Liberum also reiterated its 'buy' recommendation, eyeing a 3,200p target price.

The construction & materials sector was lifted by gains for CRH, Marshalls and Melrose, though Balfour Beatty was down. Optimism about Brexit, with parliament having voted to avoid no-deal and ask for an extension, was a boost to investor sentiment about this and other sectors.

After Marshalls announced results the day before, analysts were doling out praise on Friday. Canaccord said the company “continues to deliver strong results and exceed expectations”, and it expects the group “to continue to outperform in terms of financial delivery and reliability”, though felt the valuation was getting stretched.

Liberum was bullish about Balfour too, noting that while headwinds will continue from tougher markets it remains “confident that the momentum in gross margins and overheads will drive improving profits”, raising its target price to 172p.

Telecoms, both mobile and fixed were almost in the green, carried higher by the wider risk-on attitude even though the sector often gets left behind in such circumstances.

This was despite ratings agency Moody's remaining cautious about Vodafone, saying leverage will remain high for the next two years due to acquisition of Liberty Global assets, with limited free cash flow after dividends and spectrum investment.

Moody's also said BT's rating reflects its leading UK market position, integrated business model and strong liquidity profile, but also declining revenues from its enterprise segment, greater regulatory headwinds at Openreach, risk of increasing CAPEX and large pension deficit.

Autmobiles & parts, which have been depressed by worries about global trade and Brexit, were down despite fresh optimism about relations between the US and China, following a report that the two were making progress.

Chinese Vice Premier Liu, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer were reported to have made progress on trade talks in a telephone conversation overnight and President Trump told reporters that negotiations were coming along “really well” and that his team will probably announce the results in the “next three to four weeks”.

Top performing sectors so far today

Leisure Goods +3.99%
Industrial Transportation +3.67%
Construction & Materials +2.16%
Mobile Telecommunications +1.94%
Life Insurance +1.87%

Bottom performing sectors so far today

Automobiles & Parts -1.01%
Oil Equipment, Services & Distribution -0.40%
Pharmaceuticals & Biotechnology -0.25%
Industrial Metals & Mining -0.20%
Mining -0.14%

Market Movers

FTSE 100 (UKX) 7,220.23 0.48%
FTSE 250 (MCX) 19,482.12 1.03%
techMARK (TASX) 3,539.88 0.81%

FTSE 100 – Risers

Paddy Power Betfair (PPB) 5,890.00p 3.33%
Hikma Pharmaceuticals (HIK) 1,606.50p 3.21%
GVC Holdings (GVC) 544.75p 2.78%
TUI AG Reg Shs (DI) (TUI) 820.20p 2.73%
Standard Life Aberdeen (SLA) 262.55p 2.72%
Melrose Industries (MRO) 187.95p 2.65%
easyJet (EZJ) 1,257.00p 2.61%
Whitbread (WTB) 4,999.00p 2.48%
Hargreaves Lansdown (HL.) 1,794.00p 2.28%
Prudential (PRU) 1,619.00p 2.24%

FTSE 100 – Fallers

Morrison (Wm) Supermarkets (MRW) 221.35p -1.62%
Informa (INF) 726.80p -0.85%
AstraZeneca (AZN) 6,260.00p -0.78%
DCC (DCC) 6,300.00p -0.63%
Sainsbury (J) (SBRY) 225.90p -0.53%
Wood Group (John) (WG.) 580.00p -0.45%
BP (BP.) 547.75p -0.39%
NMC Health (NMC) 2,642.00p -0.38%
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) 4,548.00p -0.37%
BHP Group (BHP) 1,724.40p -0.35%

FTSE 250 – Risers

Restaurant Group (RTN) 140.80p 11.22%
Clarkson (CKN) 2,490.00p 7.79%
EI Group (EIG) 211.50p 5.22%
UDG Healthcare Public Limited Company (UDG) 590.50p 5.07%
Dixons Carphone (DC.) 144.85p 4.96%
Sophos Group (SOPH) 330.00p 4.76%
Stobart Group Ltd. (STOB) 178.80p 4.56%
Fisher (James) & Sons (FSJ) 2,225.00p 4.22%
Energean Oil & Gas (ENOG) 807.40p 4.18%
Royal Mail (RMG) 270.40p 4.12%

FTSE 250 – Fallers

Greencore Group (GNC) 199.60p -3.90%
Just Group (JUST) 83.05p -2.64%
Cairn Energy (CNE) 172.90p -2.15%
Intu Properties (INTU) 108.85p -1.58%
Centamin (DI) (CEY) 91.28p -1.57%
Acacia Mining (ACA) 199.70p -1.53%
Jupiter European Opportunities Trust (JEO) 717.00p -1.51%
Hochschild Mining (HOC) 194.47p -1.36%
Grafton Group Units (GFTU) 839.00p -1.29%
Bakkavor Group (BAKK) 127.20p -1.24%

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