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05 Mar 2019 | 09:04

UK stocks open 0.3% higher after China announces tax cuts

UK stocks opened higher on Tuesday after China announced tax cuts to support its slowing economy and investors held out hope for a positive resolution in Sino-US trade talks.

At 0855, the FTSE 100 was up 22.04 points, or 0.3%, at 7.156.43.

General insurer Direct Line reversed 0.3% after it cut its annual dividend and declared a more modest special payout, as bad weather including the Beast from the East dented its annual profits.

Beleaguered retailer Debenhams shed 5.1% as it again warned on profits, blaming economic uncertainties and higher financing costs.

Equipment rental company Ashtead also headed south, weakening 1.7%, even as it posted an 18% rise in underlying profits for its fiscal third quarter.

Brickmaker Ibstock was having a more positive morning, firming 3.3% as its annual profits rose by about a fifth.

London-focused developer Telford Homes gained 0.7% on announcing that it had selected Invesco Real Estate and M&G Real Estate as partners in the build-to-rent market.

Aviation services company BBA Aviation descended 4.2% after it managed to only eke out a modest gain in profits, despite boosting revenue by a fifth.

NMC Health fell 0.4% on announcing that it had agreed to form a healthcare joint venture with a large Saudi pension fund.

Power control component supplier XP Power gained 3.9% as it posted a 17% rise in annual profit, but warned that its revenue growth in 2019 would be weighted to the second half of the year.

Luxury furniture retailer Walker Greenbank gained 2.2% on news that it had appointed former Aspinals of London and Mulberry executive Lisa Montague as its new chief executive.

Personal care and beauty products supplier Swallowfield dropped 10% after it posted a 74% fall in annual profit owing to higher raw material costs. Story provided by
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