StockMarketWire.com - UK stocks opened higher on Wednesday following a strong rally on Wall Street fueled by encouraging earnings reports from the likes of Netflix.

At 0859, the benchmark FTSE 100 index was up 15.42 points, or 0.2%, at 7.074.82.

Private healthcare group Mediclinic International tumbled 19% after it announced its first-half revenue and operating profits fell, amid a weaker-than-expected performance in the Middle East and Switzerland.

Online fashion retailer ASOS rallied 13% amid relief it had met its annual sales and profit guidance despite the warm European weather.

Mining giant BHP Billiton fell 0.3% after it cut its annual copper guidance, partly due to a fire disrupting production at its Spence operation in Chile.

Barratt Developments fell 1.6% after the house builder said forward sales had risen 12% so far this financial year, though net private reservations had weakened.

Rival developer Crest Nicholson reversed 5.1% as it cut its profit guidance for the full year, blaming lower margins owing to rising costs and subdued sales in the South East and London.

Educational publisher Pearson climbed 4.1% as it stuck to its full year guidance.

IT infrastructure company Softcat fell 8.0% despite posting a 35% rise in annual profit and upping its dividend, as investors took profits amid concerns about slowing growth in customers.

Construction outfit Balfour Beatty gained 0.5% as it secured a £2.1bn contract from Scape Group.

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