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08 Oct 2018 | 09:05

UK stocks open 0.3% lower as China market slumps

UK stocks opened lower on Monday after Chinese stocks fell sharply, despite moves by its central bank to increase liquidity to counter trade war concerns.

At 0856, the benchmark FTSE 100 index was down 23.43 points, or 0.3%, at 7.295.11.

Stocks in Shanghai closed 4.3% lower after trading commenced following a one-week break.

In the UK, fashion retailer French Connection jumped 37% after it confirmed media speculation that it was considering a possible sale of the company. Sports Direct currently owns 27% of the business and has been tipped as a possible buyer.

Wealth manager Schroders gained 1.1% as it confirmed it was in discussions about a possible tie-up with to Lloyds Banking Group. The bank's shares fell 0.3%.

Legal & General gained 0.5% on news it had bought out Nortel Networks UK's £2.4bn pension plan.

Fellow insurer Lancashire, however, fell 6.9% after natural disasters including hurricanes pushed up claims and led it to warn of a third-quarter loss.

Daily Mirror newspaper publisher Reach shed 2.6% after it reported a 7% slide in third quarter like-for-like revenue amid soft advertising markets.

Pharmaceutical group Diurnal tumbled 60% after its treatment for an adrenal conditional failed to meet its primary objective during a key trial.

Management software group Sopheon rallied 10% on news it expected its results for the full year to exceed current market forecasts, after it won new business in the third quarter.

Power control component supplier XP Power gained 1.6% after it reported its revenue for first nine months of the year had jumped 18%.

UK Commercial Property REIT said it had sold an office asset in London's Soho district to Royal London Asset Management for £73.2m. Its shares gained 0.6%.

Veterinary pharmaceutical company Dechra Pharmaceuticals said it had acquired equine drugs specialist Caledonian Holdings for NZD 8.7m, or about £4.4m. Its shares gained 0.6%.

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