StockMarketWire.com - UK stocks opened lower on Friday amid fears that Donald Trump's support for laws backing Hong Kong protesters could mar progress in trade talks with China.

At 0843, the benchmark FTSE 100 index was down 21.08 points, or 0.3%, at 7.395.35.

Online grocery retailer Ocado jumped 12% to £13.50 after it signed a partnership agreement to provide its technology to Japan's Aeon.

The company also said it would incur additional operating costs of £25m owing to extra support spending at its solutions business more broadly plus specific early implementation costs for Aeon.

Commercial vehicle hire company Northgate fell 3.9% to 336.5p on announcing that it had agreed to acquire road support services group Redde by way of a share-based transaction worth about £394m.

Redde shareholders would be entitled to receive 0.3669 new Northgate shares for each of their Redde shares, which rose 5.7% to 114.8p.

'Daily Mirror' and 'Daily Express' newspaper publisher Reach rallied 12% to 93.3 after it announced that while its sales were still falling, the rate of decline had slowed in the second half.

The company also said that it was no longer in active discussions about acquiring assets from JPI Media, having first announced the talks in July.

AstraZeneca fell 0.5% to £74.62 on announcing that the US Food and Drug Administration had granted its a priority review for a drug to treat small cell lung cancer.

Heat and power distributor Aggregated Micro Power, trading as AMP Clean Energy, jumped 32% to 90p after it had accepted a £63.1m private equity bid.

Food ingredients business Real Good Food posted a first-half loss, as rising sales were offset by pressure on margins in its cake decorations unit. Its shares were unchanged at 6.62p.

Transport corridor analytics group Maestrano added 3.6% to 145p, having won a tree-monitoring contract from the Australian government to help it protect regions in the Northern Territory from the effects of uranium mining.

Business management group Watchstone fell 2.4% to 140.5p as a planned asset sale was delayed until the end of December.

Woundcare specialist Advanced Medical Solutions shed 5.4% to 251.68p as it flagged a potential £2m hit to earnings, due to a supplier of topical adhesive products experiencing operational setbacks.

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