- UK stocks opened modestly higher on Wednesday, led by mining and oil companies, as global markets braced for a key speech by Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell.

At 0855, the benchmark FTSE 100 index was up 6.49 points, or 0.1%, at 7.023.34.

Glencore and Antofagasta led miners higher, with gains of 1.2% and 1.1%, while oil giants BP and Shell rose 0.5% and 0.4%.

Credit information provider Experian fell 0.4% after the UK competition regulator raised concerns about its proposed takeover of ClearScore.

IT technology and services provider Softcat gained 0.7% after announcing that it had traded 'well' in the first quarter, growing both its revenue and its operating profit.

Plastics product manufacturer RPC Group posted a 5% fall in first-half profit, as higher polymer prices weighed on margins and it wrote down the value of businesses held for sale. Its shares, however, pushed 0.5% higher.

London-focused residential property developer Telford Homes rose 1.7% after it posted a 16% rise in first-half profit, though it acknowledged that it had 'work to do' to reach its annual profit guidance.

Wealth manager Brewin Dolphin fell 1.9% despite it posting a 19% rise in annual profit, as it recorded flat net fund inflows.

Travel company On the Beach gained 4.6% after cutting its marketing spend helped it ride out a slump in demand caused by hot UK summer weather and post a 24% rise in full-year profit.

Travel agent for they wealthy Ten Lifestyle Group, however, tumbled 55% as it posted a deeper annual loss, underpinned by missed revenue targets and higher expenses.

Component supplier Senior fell 1.3% despite it announcing that it expected to make 'good' progress in calendar 2018 after trading in the first 10 months of the year met its expectations.

Property investors Daejan and LondonMetric gained 0.6% and 1.7%, respectively, after boosting their first-half earnings and dividends on the back of increased rental income. Story provided by