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

At 12:00, the benchmark FTSE 100 index was up 11.87 points, or 0.16%, at 7,492.56.

International Consolidated Airlines ascended 0.5% to 595.4p, even as its British Airways unit suspended flights between the UK and China due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Budapest-based budget carrier Wizz Air was in demand, rising 2.75% to £42.2 as it upgraded its annual profit guidance, having returned to the black in the third quarter of its financial year.

Telecom giant Vodafone fell 0.2% to 156.3p 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 1.1% to £10.10 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 1.9% to £16 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 2.3% to 11.3p after warning that its annual underlying profit would be around the bottom end of current expectations.

Wealth manager Quilter rose 5.7% to 169.6p 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 nudged up 0.24% to 360.3p, having announced the looming retirement of chief executive David Nicol this coming June.

Fashion retailer Ted Baker fell 1.5% to 268.2p 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 dropped 1.4% to 604.6p, despite its silver and gold production strengthening in the fourth quarter.

Anglo American firmed 0.9% to £20.7 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 18.5% to 167p after it warned on profits having missed revenue expectations.

Shanta Gold gained 3.5% to 11p as it upgraded the resource estimate at the Singida project in Tanzania by 27%.

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