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FTSE opens 0.5% lower after weak Chinese trade update

UK stocks opened weaker on Monday after China released weak trade data and Theresa May's Brexit deal still appeared doomed on the eve of a key parliamentary vote.

At 0854, the benchmark FTSE 100 index was down 31.38 points, or 0.5%, at 6.886.80.

Sportswear retailer JD Sports rallied 8% as it shook off high street gloom to forecast an annual profit at the upper end of market expectations.

Premier Oil fell 9.3% after confirming that it was considering bidding for Chevron's assets in the North Sea. The Sunday Times newspaper had earlier reported that the company could launch a capital raising to pay for the assets, estimated to be worth around $1.5bn.

Recruitment firm PageGroup lost 6.2%, despite management forecasting an annual performance in line with expectations, as its UK business continued to under-perform its overseas divisions.

Revolution Bars dropped 18% as it warned of a 20% fall in annual earnings amid a fall in first-half sales.

Office services provider Restore reversed 12% after an improved performance in its records-management business was tarnished by weakness at its shredding unit.

Acacia Mining fell 0.3%, even as it announced its annual gold production had 'substantially' topped its guidance.

Power control component supplier XP Power fell 6.6%, despite posting higher annual sales, as investors focused on a 4% fall in fourth-quarter order intake, blamed on weakness in the semiconductor equipment sector.

Verona Pharma tumbled 15% on revealing that a clinical trial of a treatment for respiratory disease did not achieve statistical significance for its primary endpoint.

Dechra Pharmaceuticals, which supplies drugs for animals, shed 0.6%, despite stating that first-half sales had grown in line with its expectations.

Tri-Star Resources plunged 24% as it revealed that further funding would be needed to complete a gold processing facility in Oman after 'certain engineering issues' delayed construction.

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