- UK stocks had a directionless open on Tuesday as weak Chinese economic data hurt Asian markets and tensions continued to rise in the Middle East.

At 0857, the benchmark FTSE 100 was down 1.36 points at 7.709.62.

Vodafone Group slipped 3.2% after the telecom giant forecast slowing earnings growth in the current financial year. Vodafone also revealed that long-serving chief executive Vittorio Colao would be replaced in October by current chief financial officer Nick Read.

EasyJet rose 2.3% after the budget airline's revenue jumped, helping its annual losses to narrow.

Premier Foods rallied 2.0% as the grocery-products group said revenue growth accelerated in the second half, helping it beat earnings expectations.

Patisserie Holdings posted a 14% rise in first-half profit after it sold more treats in the lead up to Christmas. Its shares, though, gained a more modest 0.3%.

Commercial vehicle hire group Northgate jumped 7.0% as it boosted rental volumes, including in its important UK market.

Wealth manager Hargreaves Lansdown reported a year-to-date rise in new business to £6.6bn, up from £5.6bn last year. Its shares, however, were broadly flat.

Commercial property developer Landsec Group said it had appointed director Cressida Hogg as its new chairman, effective 12 July. Its shares shed 0.9%.

Energy services group Spirax-Sarco Engineering said a strengthening pound could reduce its annual sales and profits by 3-5%, sending its shares down 0.8%.

Events organiser UBM said its business had performed in line with management expectations in the year to date, though conditions in the US fashion sector remained challenging. Its shares fell 0.2%.

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