StockMarketWire.com - UK stocks are falling on Thursday as tensions between the US and China continued to grow while political uncertainty dominated the home market, too.

At 08:58, the benchmark FTSE 100 was 0.57%, or 41.69 points, lower at 7,292.50.

Mitchells & Butlers added 2.68% after it reported a 4.1% increase in first-half like-for-like sales and a return to operating profit growth. This came as it continued to outperform the market even amid continued uncertainty from the UK political and economic landscape.

Intertek shed 1.89% even as it reported a rise in revenues for the first four months of the year as a recent string of acquisitions in "attractive" growth and margin sectors bolstered growth, keeping the company on track to meet its expectations.

Brickmaker Ibstock edged 0.081% higher after it reported a "solid" start to the year, but also said it expected that performance would be second-half weighted, as it continued its 'enhanced' maintenance programme.

Inchcape gained 2.24% after it said it launched a £100m buyback programme as trading in the first four months of the year met its expectations, supported by 'good' growth in its distribution division.

Mediclinic International lost 1.42% after it posted a 4% fall in its full-year adjusted earnings, in line with expectations, due to a changing regulatory environment in Switzerland, the location of its Hirslanden hospital group. However, the company left its guidance unchanged.

Bakkavor Group added 0.49% after it left its full-year outlook unchanged as trading since the end of the last year met expectations despite ongoing subdued consumer confidence and inflationary pressures.

Discount goods retailer B&M dropped 4.82% even as it reported 'strong' results as annual pre-tax profits grew despite a 'challenging' retail backdrop amid rising costs and increasing consumer uncertainty.

Young & Co climbed 1.22% after it reported an 8.7% increase in full-year total revenue even against the challenging market backdrop. This came on the back of strong performance from the company's managed house division, which was enhanced by the acquisition of 15 Redcomb pubs.

AJ Bell slumped 6.96% even as it said first-half pre-tax profits rose by more than a quarter as net inflows boosted assets under management despite Brexit uncertainty and choppy markets.

Tate & Lyle fell 4.52% after it posted a drop in full-year pre-tax profit as higher costs and a fall in its primary products division took their toll while market conditions remained challenging.

Mothercare lost 5.13% after it said it would postpone the publication of its full-year financial results by one day to 7am on Friday, 24 May as a result of the complexity of its financial year.

Qinetiq Group grew 4.38% as it said a 32% increase in orders drove its full-year 2019 revenue and operational growth, while it sees "mid-single digit" revenue growth for 2020.

Serco leapt 9% after it said it had entered into a definitive Asset Purchase Agreement to buy Naval Systems Business Unit, a US defence contractor, for $225m.

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