Source - SMW
UK stocks opened flat on Tuesday following a strong US lead as oil and mining companies weighed.

At 0858, the benchmark FTSE 100 index was down 0.72 points at 7,768.42.

BP shed 1.1% after announcing that it would take a $1.7bn charge in the fourth quarter related to the Deepwater Horizon disaster, though it added that related financial settlements were now winding down. Shell fell 0.3%.

BHP Billiton, Anglo American and Antofagasta each fell by more than 1%, though Rio Tinto gained 0.5% after reporting that production volumes were in line with expectations during 2017, while sticking to its annual output guidance for 2018.

Athletics fashion retailer JD Sports rallied 8% after it said annual profits would beat market expectations.

Baking products retailer Greggs was also ahead, rising 3.4% after boosting like-for-like sales in the fourth quarter.

Real estate group Savills announced that chief executive Jeremy Helsby would retire at the end of 2018, after 11 years at the helm, while also upgrading its profit guidance. Its shares gained 0.5%

A rise in fourth-quarter like-for-like sales at homewares retailer Dunelm wasn't enough to boost its shares, which lost 1% after it also said that margins had contracted.

Hospital group Spire Healthcare shed 2.7% despite confirming its guidance for the full year.

Provident Financial slipped 3.3% after forecasting its consumer credit division would report a loss of around £120m, which was at the upper end of a £80m-to-£120m guidance range.

The Gym Group, which operates low-cost fitness centres, said it expected results for 2017 to be in line with market forecasts after revenue jumped 24.3%. Its shares added 2.6%.

Premier Foods gained 2.5% after the grocery product company boosted sales by 4.0% in the third quarter, bringing year-to-date sales growth to 2.6%.

Transport provider National Express Group, meanwhile, said an initial assessment of new US tax legislation indicated it would lead to a reduction in the company's effective tax rate from January 1 this year. Its shares gained 0.8%.

Tate & Lyle added 1.5% after the agribusiness appointed current chief financial officer Nick Hampton as its new chief executive.