StockMarketWire.com - UK stocks opened only modestly higher on Wednesday after a 50-basis-point interest rate cut by the US Federal Reserve failed to calm concerns about the still-spreading coronavirus.

At 0825, the benchmark FTSE 100 index was up 11.9 points, or 0.2%, at 6.730.110.

General insurer Legal & General shed 1.8% to 260.3p, despite it posting a 16% rise in underlying pre-tax profit, as coronavirus fears weigh on the insurance sector's prospects.

Low-cost carrier Wizz Air was broadly flat at £33.86 after it announced that it had cuts flights, particularly to Italy, and could slice capacity by 10% in the June quarter thanks to the disease outbreak.

Packaging company DS Smith gained 2.2% to 329.5p, having enjoyed growth in like-for-like corrugated box volumes in the second half of its financial year.

Infrastructure products supplier Hill & Smith advanced 4.3% to £14.35 as it reported a higher annual profit on the back of more US work, though growth was restrained by writedowns and restructuring costs at its Scandinavian operations.

Mining company Polymetal International firmed 0.7% to £12.75 after it posted a 36% rise in annual profit and hiked its dividend 71%, having benefited from higher gold and silver prices.

Follow miner Anglo American rose 1.2% to £19.262, even after it reported a reduction in diamond sales pinned partly on the coronvirus cutting demand in key luxury goods markets likes China.

Africa-focused fuel retailer Vivo Energy reversed 1.9% to 102p, having recorded a 3% rise in annual profit.

Vivo Energy also said it was continuing to review the status of its business in Morocco, where margins have been hurt by government-imposed fuel-price caps.

Finance provider to property developers Urban Exposure jumped 10% to 65p after it confirmed media speculation that was in exclusive talks with Pollen Street Capital regarding a potential disposal of its loan book.

The deal would trigger a liquidation of Urban Exposure, which said its investors could get 'in the region of 73p per share'.

Nanomaterials developer Nanaco tumbled 40% to 15p on announcing that it had terminated talks with some of the parties that had expressed an interest in acquiring the company.

Nanaco said it was continuing to engage with 'a number' of parties to establish whether they were prepared to make a firm offer.

Payments company PCI-PAL slumped 13% to 36p as it reported a first-half loss and warned of a deeper-than-expected loss for the full year, blaming contract delays.

Electronic component manufacturer TT Electronics gained 4.8% to 200.16p, having posted a rise in annual profit, as it boosted sales at its aerospace, defence and medical divisions.

The company, however, warned the coronavirus could wipe £3m from its underlying operating profit in 2020.

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