UK stocks opened lower on Wednesday as investors digested some disappointing trading updates from fashion retailer Burberry and publisher Pearson.
At 0900, the benchmark FTSE 100 index was down 18.48 points, or 0.2%, at 7,737.45.
Burberry fell 6.6% after posted a disappointing 2% rise in comparable store sales in 2017.
Events organiser UBM rallied 12.7% after it agreed to be acquired by rival Informa by way of a cash and shares deal. Informa shareholders weren't impressed, sending its shares down 9.6%.
Melrose Industries went hostile in its £7.4bn takeover offer for engineering group GKN after meeting with the target's shareholders. GKN gained 1.4%, while Melrose shed 1.0%.
Educational publisher Pearson slumped 6.5% after it indicated that profits would fall in 2018 as revenue continued to slide.
Cineworld shed 5.3% after launching a £1.7bn share issue to part fund its proposed acquisition of US cinema chain Regal Entertainment Group.
Insurance group Beazley gained 2.7% on a profit upgrade.
Construction company Henry Boot also upped its profit guidance, pushing its shares 1.4% higher.
A 10% rise in first-quarter revenue at Diploma didn't inspire much excitement, sending the technical products manufacturer's shares down 1.4%.
Midwich, an audio visual and document solutions distributor to the trade market, jumped 13% after it said it expected its annual adjusted pre-tax profit to be comfortably ahead of its expectations.
Utility consultancy Utilitywise plunged 16% after announcing that a review of its accounting practices by an external auditor had led to adjustments that would have a "material negative impact" on its equity and potential impact on its profits.