StockMarketWire.com - UK stocks opened lower on Monday as investors took profits on a recent recovery rally and pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca fell on merger talk.

At 0830, the benchmark FTSE 100 index was down 37.61 points, or 0.6%, at 6,446.69.

AstraZaneca dropped 2.1% to £82.48 after Bloomberg News reported that it had approached rival Gilead about a potential tie-up.

Contracts for difference trading house Plus500 sank 12.6% to £10.61 after record trading activity was offset by customers placing more winning bets, hitting its revenue.

Wagamama and Frankie & Benny's owner Restaurant Group climbed 5.8% to 78.32p on confirming that it was in talks with landlords about potential restructuring options for its estate.

The company said it had noted press speculation that it could close a large number of Frankie & Benny's outlets, but did not comment specifically on any potential closures.

Consumer goods group UP Global Sourcing, also known as Ultimate Products, jumped 17% to 73.32p as it forecast underlying annual earnings above current market expectations.

Gene and cell therapy group Oxford Biomedica rallied 4.8% to 811.3p, having signed a collaboration agreement with the the UK's Vaccines Manufacturing and Innovation Centre (VMIC) to produce vaccines, including for Covid-19.

Gas producer Energean eased back 0.2% to 574p, even as work recommenced on a large floating production vessel at a shipyard in Singapore.

Engineered electronics provider TT Electronics firmed 2.8% to 183.05p despite revenue falling 14% in the first five months of the year on an organic basis, due to Covid-19 disruptions.

Property investor Segro added 1.0% to 884.2p, having acquired a warehouse estate in Perivale, West London, from Federated Hermes for £202.5m.

Investment trust Edinburgh Worldwide fell 0.7% to 248.26p as it pulled its interim dividend even as its first-half performance topped its benchmark.

Tools and equipment hire company Speedy Hire shed 4.0% to 57.63p on announcing that its revenue had fallen sharply in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis, though trading had steadily improved during May. Story provided by StockMarketWire.com