StockMarketWire.com - UK stocks opened higher on Wednesday, buopyed by miners, amid hopes that the US and China could talk negotiate friendlier trade terms.

At 0856, the benchmark FTSE 100 index was up 17.37 points, or 0.2%, at 7.317.60.

Anglo American, Glencore and Antofagasta led the mining sector higher, with gains of 1.9%, 1.7% and 1.5%, respectively.

Home improvement retailer Kingfisher dropped 7.2% after a lacklustre performance in the UK and significant weakness in France sent its profits south.

Stagecoach Group advanced 1.6% on the back of a 'good' start to its financial year, with falling London bus and US revenue offset by a better performance at its train and regional bus divisions.

Nex Group said it would pay a $50m fine to settle claims in the US that it was involved in the manipulation of a key interest rate benchmark. Its shares ticked 0.2% higher.

John Laing Infrastructure Fund fell 0.4% after it said it hadn't received any competing bids, and would therefore back the terms of its proposed £1.4bn takeover by funds managed by Dalmore Capital and Equitix Investment Management.

Engineering services supplier Babcock International Group gained 4.1%, as it stuck to its previously-downgraded annual profit guidance.

Infrastructure group Balfour Beatty sold its 50% stake in Fife Hospital to Semperian PPP Investment Partners for £43m. Its shares gained 0.6%.

Shield Therapeutics jumped 9.0%, despite posting a first-half loss, after it entered into an exclusive licence agreement with Norgine to commercialise its iron deficiency treatment.

Molecular diagnostics group Premaitha Health rallied 11% after it entered into a legal settlement and a licence-and-supply partnership agreement with Illumina.

Cell-based therapeutics developer ReNeuron Group slumped 15% after a potential partner in the US pulled out of a planned licencing agreement.

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