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17 Jun 2019 | 08:36

UK stocks open 0.1% higher as investors await US rate decision

UK stocks opened modestly higher on Monday as geopolitical tensions in Hong Kong and the Middle East continued to weigh on sentiment, and as investors braced for a key US interest rate decision due later in the week.

At 0831, the FTSE 100 was up 10.38 points, or 0.1%, at 7.356.16.

Royal Bank of Scotland added 1.6% after it confirmed that it would collect £400m from a sell-down of its stake in Alawwal bank, triggered by the latter's merger with Saudi British Bank.

Construction company Kier shed 5.7% on announcing that it would suspend dividend payments, cut jobs and sell assets as part of turnaround programme to lower its debt.

Defence contractor Babcock International climbed 3.7% after it revealed that it had in January rejected a takeover approach from outsourcing group Serco, on the basis that it had no strategic merit.

AstraZeneca fell 0.4% despite a trial showing that its chronic lymphocytic leukaemia drug had significantly prolonged the time patients live without the disease.

Recruitment and training company Staffline slumped 23% after it said it would scrap its dividend and raise £37m from a share issue to cut debt, amid rising costs associated with an historical breach of UK wage rules.

Reabold Resources jumped 29% and Union Jack Oil jumped 38% after the pair reported that an appraisal well at the West Newton propsect in Humberside, UK had encountered a 65 meter oil interval.

Remote tracking technology company Starcom gained 3.1% on announcing that it was on track to grow it annual revenue and earnings in line with its expectations. Story provided by
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