Source - SMW
UK stocks opened lower on Wednesday as a firmer pound hurt local exporters.

At 0856, the benchmark FTSE 100 index was down 30.28 points, or 0.4%, at 7,701.55.

J D Wetherspoon rallied 4.5% after the pub owner said its profit in the financial year to date was tracking ahead of its expectations and that it expected a slightly better trading outcome for the full year.

WH Smith lost 4.5% after the book seller said sales in the 20 weeks to January 20 were flat on-year, as continued growth at travel hubs was offset by pain on the High Street.

Chile-focused miner Antofagasta said copper production in the fourth quarter fell 1.3% to 177,800 tonnes. Its shares eased back 0.7%.

House builder Crest Nicholson, meanwhile, gained 2.7% on the back of a 6% rise in annual pre-tax profit.

A 15% increase in December-quarter revenue at Hotel Chocolat failed to meet lofty expectations, with investors sending the chocolate marker's shares down 7.3%.

Software provider Sage Group also disappointed, shedding 5.6% despite first-quarter revenue rising 6.3%.

Premier Oil gained 2.5% after the first cargo from the Catcher oil field in the North Sea was lifted earlier than expected.

Budget accommodation group Hostelworld added 4.2% following 6% growth in overall bookings.

Time Out Group gained 1.2% after the publisher and food hall company boosted annual revenue by 19% and said earnings would be in line with its expectations.