StockMarketWire.com - UK stocks opened lower on Tuesday as local companies issued mixed earnings forecasts and investors awaited the planned signing later this week of a first-phase trade deal between the US and China.

At 0843, the benchmark FTSE 100 index was down 19.57 points, or 0.3%, at 7.598.03.

House builder Taylor Wimpey shed 0.2% to 201.7p, even as it announced that it had erected 5% more homes in 2019 and sold them at slightly higher prices -- helping it to achieve annual results in line with its expectations.

Builders merchant Grafton firmed 5.2% to 903p after it lifted its profit outlook following a better-than-expected end to the year.

The company, however, said it remained 'cautious' about the timing of a recovery in the UK merchanting market.

Online fashion retailer Boohoo rose 2.3% to 328.2p on upgrading its annual revenue guidance, after sales jumped 44% in the last four months of the 2019 calendar year.

Chemicals company Elementis dropped 13% to 144p after it warned on profit following a 'subdued' final quarter, as its chromium and energy business segments were hurt by a challenging market backdrop.

Recruitment company Page gained 0.7% to 471.4p, even as its gross profit fell 2.6% in the fourth quarter, owing to weakness in Asia and the UK. Still, for the full year, Page's gross profit rose 5.0%.

Miniature wargames retailer Games Workshop rallied 8.5% to £69.1778 after it handed down a jump in first-half profit and hiked its dividend, as its sales rose by nearly a fifth.

Oil play Serica Energy rose 5.6% to 129.4p as it notched higher output form its interests in the Bruce, Keith, Rhum and Erskine assets in the North Sea.

Student accommodation and build-to-rent focused developer Watkin Jones fell 0.2% to 240.98p, having reported an 8.5% fall in annual profit owing to higher expenses including a one-off payout to its chief executive.

Adjusted pre-tax profit, however, rose 4.5% and Watkin Jones upped its dividend by 9.9%.

Defence contractor TP gained 3.2% to 7.69p on securing an order worth around £1m to supply the UK Ministry of Defence with submarine oxygen-generating devices. Story provided by StockMarketWire.com