- UK stocks opened higher on Wednesday as continued fears of a disorderly Brexit kept pressure on the pound, helping companies with overseas sales.

At 0858, the FTSE 100 was up 26.65 points, or 0.4%, at 7.355.57.

Marks and Spencer dropped 4.4% after it posted lower underlying profits and said it would issue new shares in the company at a deep discount to help pay for its joint venture with Ocado.

Royal Mail gained 6.1% despite posting annual profits at the bottom end of its guidance range.

The company also re-based its dividend to 15p and outlined a five-year turnaround strategy designed to improve margins.

Power utility SSE reversed 2.0% after it booked a large drop in annual adjusted profit, as earnings fell at both its retail and wholesale divisions.

Bovis Homes shed 1.2%, despite the home builder reporting a rise in year-to-date sales rates.

Soft drink company Britvic added 0.4% as sales of low and no-sugar drinks helped boost its annual profit.

Veterinary services and pet product supplier Pets at Home Group rallied 11%, despite booking a 38% fall in annual profit owing to it buying out under-performing joint venture practices. Underlying profit, however, rose by a better-than-expected 6.1%.

Fashion retailer Superdry jumped 8.0% on news that it had poached Wiggle's finance head Nick Gresham to its interim chief financial officer.

Babcock International sank 8.1% after the defence contractor booked a slump in pre-tax profits.

Specialist lender Paragon Banking fell 3.0% despite reporting an 8.7% increase in underlying profit on rising income. Story provided by