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05 Sep 2018 | 09:04

UK stocks open 0.4% lower as trade tensions simmer

UK stocks opened lower on Wednesday as simmering global trade tensions and concerns about emerging-market currency weakness offset upbeat reports from house builders Barratt and Berkley.

At 0859, the benchmark FTSE 100 index was down 32.31 points, or 0.4%, at 7.425.55.

Barratt Developments gained 0.9% after the company, which had already announced key results in July, provided a positive assessment of current trading and its medium-term prospects.

High-end rival Berkeley Group added 1.1% after it reaffirmed its full-year guidance, despite concerns Brexit could hurt the London property market.

Gambling group William Hill gained 4.3% on news it had entered into a partnership with its existing partner in Nevada, Eldorado Resorts, to provide sports betting across the budding US market.

Ecuador-focused explorer SolGold jumped 23% after mining giant BHP Billiton acquired 6.1% stake in the company for $35.2m. BHP shares fell 0.9%.

Women's fashion retailer Quiz dropped 1.2% as it outlined its exposure to failed retailer House of Fraser, but nevertheless said it was confident of meeting market expectations for the full year.

Inkjet printing technology group Xaar gained 5.1%, despite it swinging to a first-half loss and cutting its dividend, as investors focused on the potential of its new, higher-margin products.

Software company Kainos Group rallied 12% after it announced its full-year results would be ahead of current market expectations following a 'strong' start to the year.

Defence and aerospace contractor Chemring gained 2.2% on news it had been selected as a supplier of new chemical detectors to the US military.

Advanced materials group Velocity Composites, which this week downgraded its earnings guidance, rose 2.5% after it said it had moved chief executive Jonathan Bridges to the newly-created role of chief technology officer.

The group's chief financial officer had also stood down. A search for a replacement CEO and CFO was underway.

Story provided by StockMarketWire.com
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