- UK stocks inched higher on Wednesday ahead of the expected signing later in the day of a first-phase trade deal between the US and China.

At 0852, the benchmark FTSE 100 index was up 10.72 points, or 0.1%, at 7.633.07.

House builder Persimmon firmed 1.8% to £28.47, despite its annual revenue falling 2.4%, as the company curbed its rate of home completions to improve customer service and build quality.

Vistry, the house builder formally known as Bovis Homes, added 0.5% to £13.49, on announcing that it expected to deliver record annual profits slightly ahead of market consensus.

Technical products supplier Diploma was having a tougher day, reversing 2.8% to £18.47, despite its first-quarter revenue rising 9% on-year

Strong growth at Diploma's seals sector was offset by a more subdued performance at its life sciences business.

Tullow Oil gained 3.3% to 61.16p, even as it foreshadowed impairment charges and exploration write-offs of around $1.5bn, after it lowered its oil price assumptions and reserves estimates.

The company also stuck to its recently-downgraded production and cash flow forecasts.

Rival oil company Cairn Energy found 1.6% to 198.45p as it and joint venture partners Woodside and FAR made a final investment decision to develop the Sangomar oil field in Senegal.

Power utility SSE rose 0.8% to £14.6976, having completed the sale of its retail unit to OVO Energy, for £500m including debt, following receipt of regulatory approvals.

Precious metals miner Hochschild gained 4.0% to 170.59p as it beat its annual production forecast, following stronger-than-expected output in the final quarter.

Emerging markets fund manager Ashmore firmed 1.7% to 556p after its assets under management were boosted in the fourth quarter by positive investment returns and fresh fund inflows.

Builders merchant Travis Perkins shed 0.3% to £16.15 as it appointed Christopher Rogers as chairman designate of soon-to-be separated DIY chain Wickes.

Subprime lender Provident Financial gained 4.5% to 441p on flagging full-year results in line with market forecasts, as a better-than-expected performance at its Vanquis Bank unit offset a weaker showing at Moneybarn.

Online fashion retailer Quiz slumped 11% to 16.76p as its sales dropped 9.3% over the crucial Christmas trading period.

Bowling alley operator Ten Entertainment added 1.2% to 313.48p on growing its annual sales by 10.2% after refurbishing some of its sites. Story provided by