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UK stocks open 0.1% lower as Sterling strengthens

Wednesday, 15th May 2019
UK stocks opened lower on Wednesday as the pound perked up, hurting companies with overseas earnings.

At 0900, the FTSE 100 was down 9.70 points, or 0.1%, at 7.231.90.

DIY group Kingfisher dropped 3.1% after it posted flat sales in the first quarter, as a stronger performance in the UK and Ireland was offset by ongoing weakness in France.

Travel company TUI gained 0.6%, despite booking a deeper second-quarter loss owing to a more subdued travel market and the grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX.

Gambling company William Hill shed 0.4% on announcing that its revenue had grown 2% in the first four months of 2019, as strength in the US and online was offset by UK high street weakness.

Cineworld gained 0.4%, despite the cinema chain making a slow start to the year, after it also announced the $286.3m sale and lease back of 17 US cinemas.

Crest Nicholson added 0.6% after announcing that it had paused its growth strategy to focus on delivering cashflow and dividends amid ongoing Brexit uncertainty.

Catering business Compass climbed 2.8% as it lifted its guidance amid growth in North America and its UK defence unit.

Credit checking group Experian dropped 1.6% after higher tax and interest charges lowered its net profit. The company, however, also delivered organic growth that beat market expectations.

Convenience store company SSP Group gained 0.7% after it booked a 6.2% rise in first-half profit, driven by growth in air passenger numbers and as it expanded its store footprint.

Thermal energy management and pumping specialist Spirax-Sarco Engineering reversed 0.4%, as its organic sales growth in the first four months of the year remained similar to levels in the second half of 2018.

Automotive fluid systems supplier TI Fluid Systems fell 1.5% said its first-quarter revenue fell 2.2% amid soft light vehicle production.

Molten metal flow engineering group Vesuvius shed 3.7% after it reported flat first-quarter sales, citing a more subdued market.

Paving specialist Marshalls added 2.4% as its revenue rose 21% in the first four months of the year, amid stronger sales in public and sector and commercial markets.

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