UK stocks staged a relief rally on Friday morning in the aftermath of the Scottish referendum, which saw people north of the border vote convincingly to remain part of the Union.
Some 55.3% of Scots voted 'no' to independence from the UK while 44.7% voted 'yes', erasing concerns about a break-up which have weighed heavily on market sentiment in recent weeks.
The FTSE 100 was trading 0.5% higher at 6,856 in early deals, with share prices
of Scotland-based companies rising strongly. The benchmark index has not closed above this level since 4 September.
With economic data thin on the ground for Friday's session, the focus is likely to remain on Scottish vote, as analysts and politicians continue to react.
Nevertheless, as economist Mark Gregory from the EY ITEM Club explained, a 'no' vote "does not necessarily mean we are back to business as usual" because of the political fallout and the devolution of powers across the UK.
"Today's result marks the start of negotiations around the terms of further devolved powers. Seen in the context of the upcoming election in 2015 and the possible referendum on the UK's membership of the EU in two years' time, this raises the question of whether investors will start to worry about the UK's political stability," Gregory said.
Scottish stocks rise, miners fall
Scotland-based RBS, Lloyds, Aberdeen Asset Management, Standard Life and SSE were all on the rise in morning trade.
RBS and Lloyds had warned shareholders last week that they would have to redomicile in England if Scots voted in favour of independence.
Oilfield services groups such as Petrofac, Wood Group, Enquest and Amec were also putting in decent gains after the Scottish referendum. An independent Scotland had the potential to make a big impact on the North Sea oil industry.
However, the heavyweight mining sector was limiting the upside on UK markets with Rio Tinto, Randgold Resources, BHP Billiton, Anglo American and Fresnillo among the worst performers early on.
Randgold and Fresnillo had fallen sharply the previous session after gold prices touched an eight-month low.
Inkjet, laser and thermal printing group Domino Printing gave a cautious outlook for 2015 but shares
rose strongly as it reported that underlying growth in the core business was 9% in the 10 months to the end of August.
techMARK 2,877.69 +0.96%
FTSE 100 6,856.37 +0.54%
FTSE 250 15,920.94 +1.26%
FTSE 100 - Risers
Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS) 369.90p +3.56%
St James's Place (STJ) 722.50p +3.21%
Petrofac Ltd. (PFC) 1,082.00p +3.15%
Travis Perkins (TPK) 1,740.00p +2.53%
Babcock International Group (BAB) 1,090.00p +2.35%
Schroders (SDR) 2,498.00p +2.21%
Meggitt (MGGT) 490.30p +2.15%
Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY) 77.40p +2.02%
Hammerson (HMSO) 611.00p +1.92%
Aggreko (AGK) 1,637.00p +1.87%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Rio Tinto (RIO) 3,181.50p -1.49%
Anglo American (AAL) 1,469.00p -1.38%
BHP Billiton (BLT) 1,793.00p -1.29%
Randgold Resources Ltd. (RRS) 4,374.00p -1.26%
Fresnillo (FRES) 775.50p -0.89%
Antofagasta (ANTO) 749.00p -0.53%
Glencore (GLEN) 356.40p -0.39%
Barratt Developments (BDEV) 402.90p -0.22%
Standard Chartered (STAN) 1,224.50p -0.20%
HSBC Holdings (HSBA) 660.80p -0.17%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Domino Printing Sciences (DNO) 589.50p +6.31%
Wood Group (John) (WG.) 770.50p +4.12%
Fisher (James) & Sons (FSJ) 1,349.00p +3.37%
Amec (AMEC) 1,113.00p +3.34%
Grafton Group Units (GFTU) 670.00p +3.16%
Aberforth Smaller Companies Trust (ASL) 1,072.00p +2.98%
esure Group (ESUR) 235.80p +2.97%
SIG (SHI) 185.60p +2.94%
Supergroup (SGP) 1,205.00p +2.90%
Mitchells & Butlers (MAB) 423.80p +2.89%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Hochschild Mining (HOC) 156.60p -2.12%
Soco International (SIA) 425.20p -0.95%
Kennedy Wilson Europe Real Estate (KWE) 1,097.00p -0.63%
Millennium & Copthorne Hotels (MLC) 579.50p -0.60%
Centamin (DI) (CEY) 58.55p -0.59%
Genesis Emerging Markets Fund Ltd Ptg NPV (GSS) 570.50p -0.44%
Playtech (PTEC) 727.00p -0.41%
Synthomer (SYNT) 227.10p -0.39%
Fenner (FENR) 348.70p -0.37%
Bwin.party Digital Entertainment (BPTY) 97.50p -0.31%