UK stocks had made slight gains at the open on Wednesday as investors awaited testimony from Fed chief Jerome Powell due later in the day that could hint at the direction of US interest rates. At 0856, the benchmark FTSE 100 index was up 4.79 points at 7.541.26. Fashion retailer Superdry dropped 3.7% after it swung to a full-year loss and slashed its dividend, while warning that its sales would fall in the current financial year. Homebuilder Barratt Developments was broadly flat, despite it announcing that it expected pre-tax profits to be ahead of market expectations, amid a strong close to the year and additional contribution from joint ventures. Homewares retailer Dunelm added 0.3% as it grew like-for-like revenue in the fourth quarter by 15% while also expanding its margins. Pub chain J.D. Wetherspoon gained 3.6% on the back of a 6.9% rise in like-for-like sales during the fourth quarter of its financial year. Recruitment company Page slumped 14% after it guided for its full-year result to come in at the bottom end of market expectations, amid falling profits in the UK. Bowling alley operator Ten Entertainment climbed 3.3% after it grew its sales by 9.6% in the first half, as cooler weather helped boost footfall. Communications services provider to businesses Gamma Communications advanced 3.4% on announcing that its full-year earnings were on track to be 'slightly above' the range of market expectations. Verditek firmed 2.2% as its lightweight photo-voltaic panel technology had successfully passed all tests required for a key certification.
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