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11 Nov 2019 | 09:01

FTSE opens 0.5% down amid escalation in Hong Kong tensions

UK stocks opened weaker on Monday after a violent escalation of political tensions in Hong Kong sent Asian exchanges lower.

At 0852, the benchmark FTSE 100 index was down 38.41 points, or 0.5%, at 7.320.97.

BHP fell 1.8% to £16.966 after the mining titan unveiled ambitious growth targets for its oil and gas division, recently marred by an ill-timed move into US shale.

Baked goods retailer Greggs rallied 15% to £20.28 as it yet again upgraded its profit outlook, following stronger-than-expected sales buoyed by increased customer visits.

Online property group Rightmove edged back slightly to 591p on announcing that finance director Robyn Perriss was standing down, likely by the second quarter of 2020.

Events and publishing group Informa reversed 1.0% to 792.4p, having grown its revenue by a disappointing 2.8% in the 10 months through October.

Pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca advanced 0.7% to £73.30, as it posted positive trial results for a drug used to treat anemia in patients suffering chronic kidney disease.

Beaten-down fertilizer developer Sirius Minerals rallied 14% to 3.6p, on announcing that it had put together a new, two-stage development plan for its flagship project in Yorkshire, having encountered funding difficulties for its original plan.

Sirius Mineral said it was in funding talks for a smaller, initial phase to generate first production costing $600m to complete, to be followed a deferred $2.5bn second phase.

Funeral company Dignity shed 3.1% to 511p as it reported a fall in year-to-date profit, owing to a lower number of deaths.

Engineering and agricultural equipment group Carr's gained 4.8% to 149.89p after reporting a 9% rise in annual adjusted profit, modestly above its expectations, despite bad weather hurting its agriculture division.

Online education services group Wey Education rose 8.2% to 10.93p, despite booking a full-year loss, as rising revenue was offset by one-off business termination and restructuring charges.

Regenerative medical devices company Tissue Regenix slumped 15% to 1.75p on revealing that it was in talks with debt provider MidCap Financial Trust after assessing that it would likely breach a revenue-related loan term.

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