- UK stocks opened slightly lower on Wednesday as investors braced for an upcoming decision on interest rates from the US Federal Reserve later in the day. Most market watchers expect a 25 basis point rate cut.

At 0846, the benchmark FTSE 100 index was down 4.19 points at 7.316.21.

DIY group Kingfisher dropped 1.9% to 197.65p after it booked a fall in first-half profit, marred by another poor performance at its French unit.

Sales also slid in the UK and Ireland as Brexit uncertainty weighs on consumer confidence.

AstraZeneca gained 0.2% to 6,906p as it assumed full responsibility for developing and commercialising the Linzess treatment for irritable bowel syndrome with constipation in China.

Auto dealer Pendragon slipped 12% to 9.56p on announcing that chairman Chris Chambers would stand down at the start of October. The company is now searching for a new chairman and a new chief executive.

Cosmetics supplier Warpaint London added 1.9% to 52.49p, even as it swung to a first-half loss marred by lacklustre sales growth. The company also stuck to its guidance for the full year.

Energy retailer Yu Group slumped 14% to 127.44p as it booked a deeper first-half loss after it was forced to review its strategy following the identification of accounting errors last year.

Hostel owner Safestay shed 3.1% to 31p on announcing that it had agreed to acquire the freehold of a property in Glasgow for £3.2m that it would convert to a hostel.

Business information and events company Bonhill fell 6.7% to 52.74 after it reported a first-half loss, though the company also declared a maiden dividend.

Warehouse REIT fell 0.3% to 102.7p on announcing that it had acquired an eight-asset fully-let portfolio of reversionary warehouse and distribution assets from Aviva Investors for an initial £70m. Story provided by