StockMarketWire.com - UK stocks opened higher on Wednesday after opinion polls showing Labor gaining ground ahead of Thursday's national election pressured the pound, helping exporters.

The Conservative party is still ahead in opinion polls, though recent improvements for Labor have stoked fears of another hung parliament and prolonged Brexit uncertainty.

At 0843, the benchmark FTSE 100 index was up 24.12 points, or 0.3%, at 7.237.88, with gains underpinned by blue-chips with overseas revenue including Anglo American and Standard Chartered.

Train and bus transport company Stagecoach advanced 6.7% to 134.2p, as it swung to a first-half profit after selling its struggling US coach business.

The company's sales fell by about a fifth and it kept its dividend flat, though its adjusted pre-tax profit from continuing operations improved.

Over-50's services provider Saga gained 1.6% to 48.1p on announcing that it had appointed former Superdry boss Euan Sutherland as its new chief executive.

Online trading brokerage IG fell 0.3%, having appointed Robert Michael McTighe as its new chairman. McTighe had previously served in executive roles at Cable and Wireless, Philips, Motorola, and GE, the company said.

Auto services group AA rose 4.5% to 45.42p on confirming that 'positive' momentum seen in the first half of the year had continued into the second, keeping the company on track to meet its full-year expectations.

Business software provider Sopheon sank 12% to 608.61p as it forecast a fall in full-year revenue, despite an improvement in the second half compared to the first.

Rosslyn Data Technologies dropped 14% to 5.05 on reiterating that it had a slow start to the financial year amid contract delays.

Edinburgh Investment Trust added 1.4% to 612.18, as it replaced its investment manager following 'very disappointing' first-half results that saw returns fell short of benchmark for a third straight year.

Northbridge Industrial Services gained 5.1% to 121.35p after five currently loss-making contracts awarded to Malaysian joint venture partner Olio Resources were extended for a further two years, on improved terms. At 8:53am:

[LON:AA.] AA Plc share price was +1.73p at 45.21p

[LON:IGG] IG Group Holdings PLC share price was -2.5p at 678.3p

[LON:SAGA] Saga share price was +0.63p at 47.99p

[LON:SGC] Stagecoach Group PLC share price was +8.85p at 134.45p

[LON:SPE] Sopheon PLC share price was -75p at 615p



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