StockMarketWire.com - UK stocks opened weaker on Monday as hopes faded that the US and China could sort out their differences on trade, while progress in Brexit talks strengthened the pound, hurting exporters.

At 0855, the benchmark FTSE 100 index was down 13.04 points, or 0.2%, at 7.081.08.

Specialist insurer Hiscox shed 6.8% after it warned that growth in premiums would moderate toward the tail-end of the year.

Television broadcaster ITV added 0.4%, as it announced that it had poached software group Micro Focus International's chief bean counter Chris Kennedy as its new chief financial officer.

Micro Focus also announced it expected its annual revenue to be at the better end of its guidance for a 6-9% fall, and that it would extend its share buy-back programme. Its shares gained 1.3%.

Ryanair said passenger numbers grew by 11% during the month of October on-year, even though it also had to cancel more than 300 flights during the period. The budget carrier's shares rose 0.3%.

Sirius Minerals gained 1.3%, as it entered into a construction contract with McLaughlin & Harvey for the development of a port handling facility to support its flagship fertilizer project in Yorkshire.

Plastics packaging company RPC Group weakened by 0.8% after it said takeover suitors Apollo Global Management and Bain Capital needed more time to decide on whether to make a firm offer for the company.

Serica Energy rallied 7.8% on news that it had acquired an additional interest in some North Sea oil fields from BHP Billiton. Serica also confirmed that it had satisfied conditions needed to obtain a sanctions waiver from US authorities to develop its North Sea assets. Story provided by StockMarketWire.com