- UK stocks opened lower on Wednesday as tensions between nuclear powers India and Pakistan spooked global markets, while a stronger pound continued to pressure local exporters.

At 0854, the FTSE 100 was down 52.88 points, or 0.7%, at 7.098.24.

Marks and Spencer fell 8.1% on announcing that it would pay online grocery retailer Ocado up to £750m to take a 50% stake in a new retailing joint venture between the two companies.

The shares were under pressure because the clothing and food retailer also said it would raise £600m from a share issue to fund the deal -- and slash its dividend.

Ocado, meanwhile, gained another 2.2% as rumors of the deal were confirmed.

Television broadcaster ITV shed 2.3%, despite posting higher earnings, as it warned economic uncertainty would hurt advertising markets.

Fashion retailer Ted Baker slumped 11% on warning that its annual profit would be hit by a series of unexpected costs, including an inventory write-down.

Rio Tinto advanced 1.9% as the miner reported a 56% jump in annual profit owing to gains made on asset sales, mostly in the coal space.

House builder Taylor Wimpey gained 0.9% after pleasing investors with an 18% rise in annual profit, as it completed more properties and improved its margins.

Wealth manager St James's Place fell 2.7% owing an annual loss, as the value of investments sank and it collected lower performance fees.

Capital & Counties Properties fell 2.9%, blaming Brexit uncertainty for its widening losses.

Student accommodation developer Unite shed 2.1%, despite posting a 7% rise in annual profit driven by growing rental income -- though the rate of like-for-like growth had slowed on-year.

X-ray screening systems provider Image Scan slumped 13% after it blamed contract delays for missing sales targets. Story provided by