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08 Apr 2019 | 08:55

UK stocks open 0.2% lower as pound firms

UK stocks opened lower on Monday, pressured by a modestly stronger pound, as Theresa May entered a crucial week of Brexit negotiations ahead of a progress deadline on Friday.

At 0841, the FTSE 100 was down 14.15 points, or 0.2%, at 7.432.72.

Debenhams jumped 10% after Sports Direct confirmed it had offered to underwrite a £150m equity raising by the struggling department store chain.

Sports Direct, which said the raising was an alternative to its takeover approach for Debehnhams, rose 1.1%.

Energean Oil and Gas climbed 2.3% as it achieved first oil from a well in the Mediterranean Sea, which flowed at more than 1,000 barrels per day.

Pharmaceutical company Indivior advanced 0.7% after it presented data from two new studies on the treatment of opioid abuse.

Impax Asset Management gained 3.8% said its second-quarter assets under management rose by 15% from the previous quarter following a 'strong' start to 2019.

Student accommodation company Unite Group edged 0.1% higher as value of both of its key funds rose in the March quarter.

London office and industry property investor McKay Securities added 0.6% on announcing that it had signed a new secured £180m revolving credit facility with a maturity of five years, on better terms.

Equipment rental group Vp rose 1.6% after forecasting its annual results to be 'well ahead' of the prior year, and in line with market expectations.

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