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19 Feb 2019 | 08:58

FTSE opens 0.3% lower as HSBC, BHP results disappoint

UK stocks opened lower on Tuesday after market heavyweights HSBC and BHP both revealed disappointing earnings results.

At 0852, the benchmark FTSE 100 index was down 23.66 points, or 0.3%, at 7.195.81.

HBSC shed 3.3% as a 16% rise in annual profit missed market expectations and the bank warned that slowing growth in China and Brexit uncertainty could hurt its performance in the current year.

Mining giant BHP slipped 1.1% on reporting a fall in first-half profit, owing to lower copper prices and unplanned production outages.

Bakery chain Greggs was having a better morning, rising 8.8% as it upgraded its outlook on profits following an 'exceptionally strong start' to the year, driven by the launch of its vegan-friendly sausage roll.

InterContinental Hotels rose 1.9% after it reported rising earnings boosted by higher occupancy numbers in China, easing the blow from subdued US performance.

Bus operator Firstgroup gained 3.4% as it reported 13.7% growth in winter revenue amid a strong performance at its student bus segment.

Rival transport company Go-Ahead advanced 0.4% as it agreed to buy FirstGroup's Queen's Road bus depot for £11.17m.

London-focused residential property developer Telford Homes added 1.1% after it exchanged contracts for the sale of a build-to-rent development site in Walthamstow.

Specialist manufacturer Synnovia slid 10% on warning that it expected rising annual revenue to be offset by losses from currency hedging, cost pressures and 'minor' delays at its films division.

Instrumentation and controls company Spectris reversed 0.2% on posting a 22% fall in annual profit owing to one-off restructuring and acquisition costs. The company's underlying performance improved but it warned of weaker revenue in 2019.

Renewables Infrastructure Group fell 0.6%, despite booking a 37% rise in annual profit underpinned by an uplift in the value of its asset portfolio.

Plastic packaging company RPC said it was continuing to engage with potential suitor Berry Global Group regarding a potential counter-bid to an existing agreed offer from Apollo Management. Its shares inched higher to 794.4p.

Luxury furniture company Walker Greenbank slumped 12% after announcing that it only expected to eke out a modest increase in sales amid a challenging UK retail environment.

Insolvency litigation financing company Manolete Partners gained 3.6% as it said it expected to post annual results ahead of market expectations, with operating profit growth of 70%.

Patagonia Gold plunged 46% on news that it had ceased operations at two mines in Argentina due to lower-than-expected production volumes. At 8:58am:

(LON:BHP) share price was -13.7p at 1785.9p

(LON:FGP) FirstGroup PLC share price was +2.53p at 94.03p

(LON:GRG) Greggs PLC share price was +110p at 1712p

(LON:HSBA) HSBC Holdings PLC share price was -23.3p at 640.4p

(LON:IHG) InterContinental Hotels Group PLC share price was +76.5p at 4705.5p

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