StockMarketWire.com - UK stocks opened higher on Wednesday after Apple reported upbeat second-quarter results and local supermarket chain Sainsbury's posted a better-than-expected annual profit.

At 0900, the FTSE 100 was up 23.52 points, or 0.3%, at 7.441.74.

Sainsbury's added 5.1%, despite one-off costs including those associated with its failed Asda deal, dragging its annual profit down 42%.

The company, however, also reported a better-than-expected rise in underlying profit and raised its final dividend by 11%.

Clothing retailer Next fell 0.2% despite posting a surprisingly good 4.5% rise in first-quarter sales, though the company said the rise wasn't big enough to prompt a change to its annual guidance.

Lloyds Bank added 1.6% on news that it lowered its capital ratio target UK regulators eased its capital buffer requirements.

London Stock Exchange gained 1.9% as it reported a 5% improvement in first-quarter income despite a 'challenging market backdrop.'

Sirius Minerals fell another 6.4% after revealing that it had raised around $425m (£327m) from a share placement priced at 15p per share, at the bottom end of an indicative range of 15p to 18p.

Bingo hall and casino owner Rank Group fell 0.2% as it reported 1% growth in first-quarter venue and said that chairman Ian Burke would stand down after the company's annual general meeting in October.

House builder Persimmon, meanwhile, said its weekly private sales rate per site had fallen 5% in the year to date, due to changes in its marketing practices. Its shares were broadly flat.

Waste management business Augean jumped 12% on announcing that it expected its annual profit to be materially ahead of market expectations, following stronger trading performance in the first quarter.

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