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Market report: FTSE gains after sharpest rise in UK business activity in more than five years

The FTSE is gaining this Thursday after the UK services sector experienced its sharpest rise in business activity in more than five years last month. On the downside, the rate of job losses across the service sector were the steepest since May. 

And talking of job losses, Melrose Industries (LON:MRO) has confirmed it plans to make a 'significant' number of job cuts at its GKN Aerospace business after suffering a £560million loss in the first half of the year. The share price actually jumped in response, perhaps encouraged by the optimistic update on current trading.

Drugmakers continue to be top gainers with GlaxoSmithKline (LON:GSK) up after announcing a clinical trial of a COVID-19 vaccine candidate along with France's drugmaker Sanofi. 

Elsewhere despite ITV’s (LON:ITV) imminent expulsion from the FTSE 100 - the broadcaster is higher in early trading. 

Dods Group PLC (LON:DODS) has said it expects the coronavirus pandemic to hit both its revenue and profits in the year to March 2021 as its reported solid full-year 2020 numbers.

Interim results from Deltic Energy (LON:DELT) revealed a strong balance sheet, with £12.8mln of cash at the end of June and confirmed that its North Sea venture with Shell remains on-track.

BlueRock Diamonds PLC (LON:BRD) has reported that in August it processed 41,000 tonnes of ore from its main pit in South Africa, with the diamonds averaging a grade of 5.1 carats per hundred tonnes. 

And Shanta Gold PLC (LON:SHG) has provided investors with a pair of updates which together bolster the New Luika gold mine, where production and exploration activities are ongoing.

Quick facts: Melrose Industries PLC

Price: 132.85 GBX

LSE:MRO
Market: LSE
Market Cap: £6.45 billion
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