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FTSE opens 0.5% lower after weak Chinese trade update

StockMarketWire.com

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.

Story provided by StockMarketWire.com