StockMarketWire.com - UK stocks opened lower on Tuesday, weighed down by disappointing earnings updates from bellwether companies including lender HSBC, miner BHP and accommodation group Intercontinental Hotels.

At 0817, the benchmark FTSE 100 index was down 21.99 points, or 0.3%, at 7.411.26.

HBSC dropped 3.8% to 568.5p after the Asia-focused bank posted a worse-than-expected 33% fall in annual profit and said it would cut around 35,000 jobs as part of a major strategy overhaul.

BHP reversed 1.1% to £16.734, even as it reported a rise in first-half profit and said its production and cost performance was tracking in line with its full-year guidance.

The mining titan, however, also warned that it may have to cut its commodity demand expectations if the coronavirus outbreak was not contained by the March quarter.

Also in the resources sector, miner and commodities trader Glencore fell 0.4% to 235.65p after it reported a decline in earnings pinned on lower commodities prices and trade uncertainty.

Rio Tinto gained 0.5% to 98.31p, having submitted a feasibility study to authorities in Mongolia for the construction of a $924m power plant to support its proposed Oyu Tolgoi copper mine there.

Elsewhere, InterContinental Hotels dropped 1.7% to £47.50, even as it reported a rise in annual profit on higher sales.

The company's revenue-per-room rate, however, fell amid economic and political uncertainty that hit its key US and Chinese markets.

Gambling company Flutter Entertainment reversed 0.3% to £85.04, despite announcing that Australia's competition regular had granted informal approval for its $6bn acquisition of online poker business The Stars Group.

Underwater cable protection systems provider Tekmar sank 33% to 103.5p after it warned of a flat annual earnings performance following delays and supply issues caused by China's coronavirus response.

Window, door and ventilation system manufacturer Titon tumbled 21% to 86.8p, on warning that it expected to post a full-year underlying profit 'materially below' its previous expectations.

Live entertainment communications group Reach4entertainment Enterprises was having a better morning, jumping 24% to 1.08p, as it guided for annual earnings and revenue 'significantly ahead' of market expectations.

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