UK stocks opened higher on Wednesday after Donald Trump said the US and China were in the 'final throes' of putting together a trade deal. At 0835, the benchmark FTSE 100 index was up 23.77 points, or 0.3%, at 7.426.91. British American Tobacco edged back 0.1% to £29.835, even as it forecast annual adjusted profit at the upper end of long-term guidance range. The tobacco giant also posted lower sales in the US amid a regulatory crackdown on sales of vaping products. Mining giant Rio Tinto added 0.7% to £42.875 after it approved a $749m investment in its iron ore operations in the Pilbara region of Western Australia state. Drinks maker Britvic shed 2.8% to 957p as it reported weaker profits, pinned on challenging market backdrops in Ireland and France. Pub group Marston's reversed 0.3% to 127p, having swung to a full-year loss after it company wrote down the value of its assets and cycled tough comparatives following the football World Cup in the previous year. Residential landlord Grainger firmed 1.4% to 279.8p on the back of a 30% rise in annual profit, driven by a surge in rental income. IT infrastructure and services provider Softcat rose 0.9% to £11.44, on announcing that it had grown its revenue and operating profit in the first quarter of its financial year. Travel company On the Beach gained 0.5% to 436p, even as it reported a 26% fall in annaul profit due to costs associated with the collapse of rival Thomas Cook. The company also posted a hefty rise in revenue and reiterated that the demise of its larger rival presented an opportunity to snatch market share. Furniture retailer ScS slipped 2.2% to 217.14p as its order intake slid 7.1% in the year to date, though the rate of decline had improved since earlier in the year. Office space provider Workspace added 0.8% to £11.00 as it exchanged contracts to sell Quality Court, off Chancery Lane in Holborn, London for £15.8m. Cross border financial services provider STM sank 22% to 33.78p after it downgraded its annual profit guidance, due to re-branding delays at recent acquisition Carey and weaker new business applications in the UK pension market. Specialist engineering group Pressure Technologies slumped 10% to 92.94p after a jury delivered a guilty verdict in a trial related to a fatal accident that occurred in 2015 at subsidiary Chesterfield Special Cylinders. Cyber security company Shearwater gained 0.4% to 244p, having reported a narrower first-half loss as it boosted sales, both from acquisitions and its existing operations. Educational virtual reality content provider VR Education fell 4.3% to 7.66p, even as it announced that its latest showcase experience, 'Shuttle Commander', would launch on Sony PlayStation on 3 December.
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