UK stocks open higher on Wednesday as a weaker pound helps boost exporters and hopes grow that China will offer further stimulus measures to cushion itself from a trade war.

In early trading benchmark FTSE 100 index is up 25.14 points, or 0.3%, at 7.743.62.

Miner and commodities trader Glenore (GLEN) books a 13% rise in first-half profit, supported by higher commodity prices, but refrained from expanding its share buyback programme. The shares traded flat at 325.75p

Paddy Power Betfair (PPB) loses 2.6% to £79.10 as the gambling house downgrades its annual earnings guidance, as higher revenue was offset by new taxes in Australia and it incurred losses from its US fantasy sports business.

Infrastructure supplier Hill & Smith (HILS) tumbles 20% to £11.76 after booking a fall in first-half profit and scaling back its expectations for the full-year.

Bellway (BWY) sheds 5.1% to £28.24, as the housebuilder forecasts a rise in first-half revenue, tempered by slightly weaker operating margins.

Electronic components manufacturer TT Electronics (TTG) gains 11.4% to 245p as it reports underlying profit up nearly 40% with returns on invested capital hitting 11.2% and margins up 150 basis points.

Quilter (QLT), the asset management business spun out of Old Mutual, posts a gain in first-half profit after positive inflows into its funds offset weaker market conditions. Its shares climb 1.6% to 152p.

TI Fluid Systems (TIFS) rallies 6.4% to 266p as the manufacturer of fluid storage and delivery systems for light vehicles ekes out a modest rise in profit despite a tough new car market and weakening pound.

Steam management system and pump supplier Spirax-Sarco Engineering (SPX) gains 2% to £68.85 after posting a 21% rise in first-half profit, as a strong recovery in US industrial production offset some softer conditions in Asia.

Healthcare services provider UDG Healthcare (UDG) drops 7% to 761.5p, despite reiterating full-year earnings guidance and agreeing to sell its lower-margin Aquilant division to private equity firm H2 Equity Partners for up to €23m ($27m).

Recruitment agency PageGroup (PAGE) posts an 18% rise in first-half profit, as strong performance from its offshore operations offset weakness in the UK. Its shares add 1.9% to 610.5p.


Issue Date: 08 Aug 2018