UK stocks open 0.3% higher as China virus fears ease

  • Wed 22 Jan 2020 08:53

    UK stocks opened higher on Wednesday as global markets pared substantial previous-day losses sparked by a deadly Chinese disease outbreak that local authorities said they were working to contain.

    At 0845, the benchmark FTSE 100 index was up 19.11 points, or 0.25%, at 7.629.81.

    Supermarket giant Sainsbury's shed 0.9% to 210.5p on announcing that it had appointed insider Simon Roberts to replace Mike Coupe as its new chief executive.

    Roberts was currently the company's retail and operations director.

    Luxury fashion retailer Burberry fell 3.5% to £21.85, even as it nudged up its annual sales guidance following the launch of new products.

    Burberry also said its sales in Hong Kong had halved due to political disruption in the Chinese territory.

    Fashion retailer Ted Baker softened 4.4% to 305p after an independent review found it had overstated the value of its inventory to the tune of £58m.

    The figure was materially higher than a £20m-to-£25m preliminary assessment announced last month.

    Copper producer Antofagasta fell 2.5% to 926.4p as unrest in Chile weighed on its output in the final quarter of 2019.

    Home builder Berkeley rallied 5.1% to £54.50 on pledging to increase shareholder returns by about £455m to £1bn over the next two years.

    Sofware company Sage firmed 4.4% to 764.4p as its revenue in the first quarter rose 6.7%, driven by growth in subscriptions.

    Books and stationary retailer WH Smith reversed 1.7% to £24.96, despite its revenue in the year to date rising 7%, boosted by acquisitions in its travel business.

    On a like-for-like basis, however, the WH Smiths sales for the 20 weeks through 18 January fell 1%, as pressure on its weaker High Street operations weighed.

    Pet product and veterinary business Pets at Home rose 1.5% to 291.2p as its revenue rose 7.9% in the third quarter and it said it remained on track to hit annual profit expectations.

    Video game developer Sumo gained 5.6% to 203.75p on forecasting annual results 'at least in line' with market expectations.

    Geotechnical engineering company Van Elle sank 11% to 48.64p on the back of a 63% fall in first-half profit and heavy cut to its dividend, owing to shirking margins.

    Publisher and events group Dods shed 5.3% to 4.5p, having warned of a slow start to its fiscal fourth quarter.

    Flooring retailer Victoria gained 6.3% to 440.2p as it flagged A €170m from a corporate bond offering to pay off its bank debt.

    Regenerative medical devices company Tissue Regenix dropped 11% to 1.55p, despite posting annual revenue growth of 12%.

    The company also said it was continuing to assess various funding options to alleviate significant working capital constraints.

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Antofagasta (ANTO)

848.60 0.00 (0.00%) delayed 18:29PM
Price delayed by 15 minutes.

Berkeley Group Holdings (The) (BKG)

5,362.00 0.00 (0.00%) delayed 18:56PM
Price delayed by 15 minutes.

Burberry Group (BRBY)

1,977.80 0.00 (0.00%) delayed 18:45PM
Price delayed by 15 minutes.

Sainsbury (J) (SBRY)

206.80 0.00 (0.00%) delayed 18:29PM
Price delayed by 15 minutes.

Ted Baker (TED)

300.13 0.00 (0.00%) delayed 18:30PM
Price delayed by 15 minutes.