- UK stocks opened higher on Wednesday after technology stocks strengthened on Wall Street, though investors remained wary of Italy's debt outlook.

At 0857, the benchmark FTSE 100 index was up 18.18 points, or 0.2%, at 7.704.98.

Book retailer WH Smith gained 5.8% as third-quarter sales rose 4% on-year, boosted by another strong showing from its travel business and a slowing rate of sales decline on the High Street.

Smurfit Kappa added 3.0% after International Paper Company withdrew its hostile takeover bid for the packaging company, which said it expected to post 'strong' results in August.

Office space provider and property investor Workspace Group fell 4.7% despite more than doubling annual profit, as investors digested its plan to raise fresh capital through a share issue.

Plastic products supplier RPC Group was also greeted with a sell-off despite it too posting a large rise in profit, driven by acquisitions. The shares slumped 10%, as a more modest rate of organic revenue growth disappointed the market.

Low-cost airline easyJet boosted passenger numbers by 3.7% in May while also lifting its load factor. Its shares added 0.6%.

Security services provider Serco Group climbed 2.4% after it bagged a $900m (£671m) contract to support eligibility determinations for people buying health insurance in the US.

Recruitment agency Harvey Nash, meanwhile, said it was tracking ahead of budget in the first quarter, with a 7% rise in profit, helping its shares to rally 6.6%.

Media tech group Amino Technologies shed 5.1% after forecasting a fall in first-half revenue.

MS International surged 11% on a large rise in profit, as robust orders in its US defence business offset government budget cutting in its UK home market. Story provided by