(Sharecast News) - London stocks had extended gains by midday on Friday, boosted by well-received results from the likes of Vodafone and Pearson, as investors eyed the release of US second-quarter GDP data.
The FTSE 100 was up 0.6% at 7,532.27, while the pound was down 0.2% against the dollar at 1.2429 and 0.1% lower versus the euro at 1.1165.
CMC Markets analyst Michael Hewson said: "Today's first iteration of US Q2 GDP number could well introduce further doubt into market expectations of what sort of messaging that we might get from the Federal Reserve next week.
"While there is no expectation that we won't get a weaker number than the 3.1% seen in Q1, there is a chance we could see an upside surprise.
"Early estimates are for a number between 1% and 2%, with recent revisions suggesting something nearer to 2%. Any number above 2% would inevitably raises questions as to why it's even necessary to consider a rate cut, but given weaknesses elsewhere in the global economy, it would still be a big surprise were the Fed not to go next week."
In equity markets, Vodafone rallied after saying it was creating Europe's largest mobile phone tower company with its infrastructure to be legally separated into a new organisation operational by May 2020. It will be made up of 61,700 towers in 10 markets with potential proportionate EBITDA of around ï¿½900m. The group also posted a 2.3% dip in first-quarter revenue to ï¿½10.7bn (ï¿½9.59bn) due to foreign exchange rate effects.
Education publisher Pearson rose as it bumped up its full-year guidance for adjusted earnings per share, saying that it was beginning to benefit from accelerating its shift to digital.
Property website Rightmove was in the green as it reported a jump in first-half profit and announced the acquisition of Van Mildert - a company that provides tenant referencing services and rent guarantee insurance products - for up to ï¿½20m.
Peppa Pig owner Entertainment One gained ground after saying that Mark Gordon had signed a multi-year producing deal after speculation last month that he was leaving the company. eOne said would shift from his role as president & chief content officer and focus on developing and producing content for the group.
Sports Direct reversed earlier losses to trade up after saying it still expects to release its full-year results by the end of the day. The retailer, whose shares slumped in early trading as it became clear that the results - already delayed once and scheduled to be released at the open - were nowhere to be seen. The company said in a statement that it was "still finalising" the preliminary results and expects that they will still be released on Friday, with another update due at midday.
On the downside, shares of Anglo American fell sharply as it emerged that Indian billionaire Anil Agarwal was selling his 20% stake in the company, having been the miner's biggest shareholder for two years.
FTSE 100 (UKX) 7,532.27 0.58%
FTSE 250 (MCX) 19,875.28 0.28%
techMARK (TASX) 3,836.34 1.20%
FTSE 100 - Risers
Vodafone Group (VOD) 144.64p 9.58%
Pearson (PSON) 927.60p 5.96%
Berkeley Group Holdings (The) (BKG) 3,952.00p 2.65%
Relx plc (REL) 1,910.00p 2.28%
Ocado Group (OCDO) 1,237.00p 2.27%
Diageo (DGE) 3,306.50p 2.04%
Barratt Developments (BDEV) 667.00p 1.77%
Aveva Group (AVV) 4,028.00p 1.67%
Ashtead Group (AHT) 2,280.00p 1.65%
Taylor Wimpey (TW.) 175.21p 1.51%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Anglo American (AAL) 2,078.50p -4.96%
Smurfit Kappa Group (SKG) 2,618.00p -1.80%
Antofagasta (ANTO) 943.00p -1.77%
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 438.70p -1.35%
ITV (ITV) 112.55p -1.01%
Morrison (Wm) Supermarkets (MRW) 196.55p -0.98%
Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY) 56.25p -0.92%
Melrose Industries (MRO) 194.40p -0.87%
NMC Health (NMC) 2,486.83p -0.80%
Glencore (GLEN) 273.65p -0.78%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Inchcape (INCH) 621.00p 3.76%
Bakkavor Group (BAKK) 114.60p 3.06%
Howden Joinery Group (HWDN) 567.80p 2.90%
Capital & Counties Properties (CAPC) 218.00p 2.64%
Sports Direct International (SPD) 244.24p 2.11%
Ascential (ASCL) 383.20p 2.02%
Future (FUTR) 1,098.22p 1.88%
Hays (HAS) 155.20p 1.84%
Wood Group (John) (WG.) 560.40p 1.74%
Sanne Group (SNN) 759.00p 1.74%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Funding Circle Holdings (FCH) 113.50p -3.16%
TBC Bank Group (TBCG) 1,224.00p -2.86%
Contour Global (GLO) 174.40p -2.02%
NewRiver REIT (NRR) 175.00p -2.02%
Plus500 Ltd (DI) (PLUS) 634.20p -1.98%
Vesuvius (VSVS) 521.50p -1.97%
Stagecoach Group (SGC) 132.50p -1.85%
Cranswick (CWK) 2,540.00p -1.70%
Aston Martin Lagonda Global Holdings (AML) 621.80p -1.40%
CLS Holdings (CLI) 227.50p -1.30%
* Investors brace for dovish Fed at Jackson Hole * U.S. yield curve steeper, but may invert again * Pound plunges vs euro, dollar * Euro flat as markets focus