StockMarketWire.com - UK stocks pushed higher at the open on Wednesday, continuing to partially recoup heavy losses experienced on Monday, though investors remained on edge as the coronavirus death toll hit 132.

At 0849, the benchmark FTSE 100 index was up 20.77 points, or 0.3%, at 7.501.46.

International Consolidated Airlines descended 0.2% to 591.4p, as its British Airways unit suspended flights between the UK and China due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Budapest-based budget carrier Wizz Air went in the opposite direction, rising 0.5% to £41.30 as it upgraded its annual profit guidance, having returned to the black in the third quarter of its financial year.

Telecom giant Vodafone rose 0.3% to 157.14p after it signed a non-binding agreement proposing a potential sale of its 55% shareholding in Egyptian assets to Saudi Telecom Company, for $2.39bn.

Water utility United Utilities added 0.8% to £10.075 as it announced that it would start paying dividends based on the UK consumer price index after it agreed to a new framework set by national regulator Ofwat.

Builders' merchant Travis Perkins advanced 2.2% to £16.045 on reporting 7.7% annual sales growth at DIY chain Wickes, which is still set to be spun off in the second quarter of 2020.

Auto dealer Pendragon reversed 2.8% to 11.24p after warning that its annual underlying profit would be around the bottom end of current expectations.

Wealth manager Quilter rose 3.1% to 165.45p as it boosted its assets under management in 2019 thanks to positive market movements, during what was a tougher year for fresh fund inflows.

Rival wealth group Brewin Dolphin eased back 0.2% to 358.8p, having announced the looming retirement of chief executive David Nicol this coming June.

Fashion retailer Ted Baker fell 2.1% to 266.61p after the market was underwhelmed by news that it appointed current director Jennifer Roebuck to the newly-created role of chief customer officer.

The beaten-down retailer also said a search for a new permanent chief executive and chairman was 'well advanced'.

In the mining sector, iron ore play Fresnillo perked up 0.3% to 614.6p, as its silver and gold production strengthened in the fourth quarter.

Anglo American firmed 0.6% to £20.64 on the back of improved diamond sales.

At the smaller-company end of the market, technology provider to the gambling and broadcast industries Quixant sank 21% to 161.04p after it warned on profits having missed revenue expectations.

Shanta Gold gained 5.1% to 11.16p as it upgraded the resource estimate at the Singida project in Tanzania by 27%.

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