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18 Sep 2018 | 09:05

UK stocks open lower as US-China trade tensions escalate

UK stocks opened lower on Tuesday after China vowed to retaliate against tariffs imposed by the US on $200bn worth of its exports.

At 0902, the benchmark FTSE 100 index was down 13.25 points, or 0.2%, at 7.288.85.

Hospital owner Spire Healthcare slumped 6.5% after it posted a fall in first-half profit and downgraded its annual guidance, owing to lower-than-expected admissions and higher investment spending.

Online retailer Ocado rallied 4.1% after it grew revenue in the third quarter by 11.5% on-year, amid a rise in orders.

Industrial services group Flowtech Fluidpower tumbled 28% as it warned on profits and said its chief executive Sean Fennon would retire.

Specialist lender Paragon Banking Group climbed 1.9% on news its retail deposit based had exceeded £5bn, and as the company reiterated its volume, margin and cost guidance.

Insurance group Aviva was broadly flat after it ended a £600m share buyback.

BBA Aviation gained 2.9% after revealing it would acquire aftermarket service provider Firstmark Corp for $97m.

Legal services-focused marketing business NAHL shed 2.2% after it booked a flat first-half profit and cut its dividend by 40%.

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