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09 Jul 2019 | 08:57

UK stocks open 0.2% lower as rate cut hopes fade

UK stocks opened lower on Tuesday, tracking declines in Asia and elsewhere in Europe, as investors weighed the potential for tighter US monetary policy following strong jobs data.

At 0846, the benchmark FTSE 100 index was down 14.31 points, or 0.2%, at 7.534.96.

Online grocery retailer Ocado gained 6.0%, despite booking a deeper first-half loss partly owing to a fire at its Andover distribution centre in the UK. The company also booked an 11% rise in sales.

Software group Micro Focus International shed 1.7% after its first-half revenue slipped 7%. The company stuck to its full-year guidance for a fall of 4-6%.

Home builder Bovis Homes gained 0.4% as it reported higher sales rates and selling prices in the first half.

Listed residential landlord Grainger advanced 1.2% on news that it had agreed to forward fund a 146-home development in Canning Town, London for about £62m.

Sports Direct was unchanged as it declared its £52m bid for video game company Game Digital unconditional after it was accepted by more than half of the target's shareholders. Game Digital fell 0.3%.

Animal-drug developer Dechra Pharmaceutical gained 1.9% on reporting an 18% rise in annual revenue in a trading update.

Industrial chain supplier Renold sank 19% after it admitted to identifying accounting mistakes in previous results that led to an overstatement of profits. The company has consequently delayed its annual general meeting.

Recruitment company Robert Walters added 0.8% as its net fee income rose by 7% in the second quarter, owing to growth overseas offsetting weakness in the UK.

Trafalgar Property slumped 32% after it revealed that it had failed to secure funding needed to acquire an assisted living development site Camberley.

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