UK stocks opened weaker on Wednesday as investors fretted about slowing growth in China and the pound strengthened on hopes a no-deal Brexit could be averted, hurting exporters. At 0859, the benchmark FTSE 100 index was down 47.87 points, or 0.7%, at 6.853.52. UK fashion brand Burberry softened by 0.2% after its same-store sales in the third quarter slowed from a year earlier to 1%. Plastic packaging supplier RPC added 4.7% on news that it had accepted a £3.32bn takeover bid from private equity firm Apollo Management. Pub chain JD Wetherspoon reversed 0.9% as it warned rising costs would offset a bumper sales performance to send its profits lower. Book, stationary and snack retailer WH Smith gained 2.4% after it boosted year-to-date sales by 6%, buoyed by strength in its travel division. Challenger bank Metro Bank tumbled 27%, despite it forecasting a more than doubling in annual profit, as profit 'softened' in the last quarter. Computer services provider Computacenter rallied 4.5% as it forecast annual profits ''marginally ahead' of its expectations. Lifestyle fashion retailer Joules shed 1.9%, even as it posted a 15% rise in underlying first-half profit. Asset and corporate services provider Sanne slumped 13% on announcing the departure of its CEO amid a profit performance expected to be 'broadly in line' with its expectations.
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