- UK stocks opened lower on Wednesday after investors grappled with the implications of new drama surrounding Donald Trump's presidency.

At 0901, the benchmark FTSE 100 index was down 23.03 points, or 0.3%, at 7.542.67.

US stock futures fell after Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to campaign finance charges and his former campaign manager Paul Manafort was found guilty on fraud charges.

Building materials supplier Grafton Group gained 5.5%, as revenue growth and tight cost control drove an 18% rise in its first-half profit.

Struggling department store chain Debenhams shed 0.7%, after it announced it had hired former Domino's Pizza chief financial offer Rachel Osborne as its new head bean counter.

Specialised technical products supplier Diploma shed 1.3% amid news it had acquired specialist cable maker FS Cables for up to £18.0m.

Cyber security group Avast rallied 3.6%, as new contract wins helped it swing to a first-half profit.

Floorcovering distributor Headlam slipped 4.2% after it warned of a full-year performance toward the lower end of market expectations amid 'softness' in the UK market.

Public transport provider Go-Ahead gained 0.8%, despite announcing that chief financial offiver Patrick Butcher would leave to join Capita.

Betting technology company Sportech shed 1.1% after its first-half losses deepened, as a new sports bar in the US didn't perform as well as expected and margins remained under pressure.

Attractions design business Paragon Entertainment slumped 5.3% after it swung to a first-half loss during a 'very poor' period that saw a major brand partner walk away.

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