StockMarketWire.com - UK stocks opened lower on Wednesday as China pledged to counter tariffs imposed by the US in a worsening trade dispute.

At 0906, the benchmark FTSE 100 index was down 29.94 points, or 0.4%, at 7.004,83.

Publication relations group WPP lost 2.0% after it appointed an independent council to conduct an investigation into an allegation of personal misconduct against chief executive Martin Sorrell. In a separate statement, Sorrell denied the allegations.

Topps Tiles fell 9.7% after revenue growth slowed in the second quarter, owing to severe winter storms and softer underlying trading conditions.

Rival flooring manufacturer Victoria was having a better day. Its shares rallied 3.6% after it announced that its annual revenue and underlying profit were expected to be ahead of consensus market expectations.

Ryanair said it carried 6% more passengers in March on-year, while also increasing its load factors. Its shares were broadly unchanged.

Rival budget carrier Wizz Air Holdings said it carried 25.2% more passengers in March on-year, as it added new routes to and from Austria. Its shares gained 0.1%.

Waste-to-product business Renewi fell 1.2% despite confirming that it expected its underlying trading performance for the year through March to be in line with its expectations.

Sequoia Economic Infrastructure Income Fund said it was considering raising more funds through an equity issue to take advantage of attractive investment opportunities. Its shares fell 0.9%.

Canadian record label Entertainment One said it expected its full-year performance to be in line with its expectations amid a 50% increase in both revenue and underlying earnings. Its shares eased back 0.1%.

Small-cap player Image Scan rallied 17% said revealing that it expected to perform at close to break-even for the first half.

Digital information company Next Fifteen Communications Group gained 3.9% after it posted a 21% rise in annual profit on increased sales and expanded profit margins. Story provided by StockMarketWire.com