Source - SMW
UK stocks opened stronger on Wednesday as bargain hunters stepped in following a global rout triggered by expectations of higher interest rates.

At 0859, the benchmark FTSE 100 index was up 47.74 points, or 0.7%, at 7,189.14.

Mining house Rio Tinto almost doubled its annual profit after commodity prices rose, while announcing a $1bn share buy-back and higher dividend. Its shares eased back by 0.2%.

Tobacco giant Imperial brands lost 0.5% after it stuck to revenue guidance but warned of currency and margin headwinds.

Packaging group Smurfit Kappa posted a 12% fall in annual pre-tax profit, but increased its dividend on the back of an improved fourth-quarter performance. The shares pared early gains to be down 0.4%.

Tullow Oil gained 2.5% as its annual losses narrowed on higher oil prices, though it still posted significant write-downs for the year.

House builder Redrow rallied 3.2% on the back of a 50% interim dividend hike, as legal completions increased and margins improved.

Chemicals group Johnson Matthey said it would book a £50m charge related to a settled a lawsuit against the company, brought by employees who claimed they'd developed platinum sensitivities at its factory. Its shares shed 0.3%.

Marketing support services group DCC said it had acquired Elite One Source Nutritional Service, for an enterprise value of $50m. Its shares lost 0.2%.

UK water utility Severn Trent gained 1.8% after announcing that it still expected to deliver a trading performance for the current financial year in line with its previously disclosed guidance.