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20 Mar 2019 | 08:47

UK stocks meander ahead of US rates decision; pound under pressure

UK stocks opened modestly higher on Wednesday as investors braced for a key US rate decision and Theresa May's request for only a short Brexit extension put pressure on the pound.

At 0841, the benchmark FTSE 100 index was up 4.17 points at 7.328.17.

DIY group Kingfisher shed 3.4% after it reported a more than halving of annual profit and said it was searching for a replacement for chief executive Veronique Laury three years into her five-year turnaround plan.

Construction company Kier dropped 6.5% as it swung to a first-half loss amid weak performance in its developments and housing segment.

Automotive fluid system supplier TI Fluid Systems gained 9.0% on posting a 37% rise in annual profit, bucking weakness in global light vehicle markets.

Restaurant operator Tasty slumped 18% as it posted a deeper annual loss and said it wouldn't open any more restaurants this year.

Bowling alley operator Ten Entertainment climbed 2.3% as it posted a 57% rise in annual profit and said it had agreed to acquire a site in Southport, England.

Language services group SDL rose 0.9% after it posted 8.2% rise in annual profit, as it boosted sales both organically and via the acquisition of DSL.

Compliance and business services provider SimplyBiz gained 5.7% after it announced that it had agreed to acquire Regulus Topco, the owner of the Defaqto financial services technology business, for £74.3m.

Antibiotics developer Motif Bio jumped 19% as the US Food & Drug Administration granted its request for a meeting to discuss its treatment for skin infections.

OptiBiotix Health gained 3.2% on announcing that it had entered into an exclusive agreement with DKSH International to distribute its weight management technology in Italy and Spain.

Story provided by StockMarketWire.com
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