- UK stocks opened higher on Wednesday after a vaccine candidate for Covid-19 showed promising early trail results.

At 0829, the benchmark FTSE 100 index was up 55.84 points, or 0.9%, at 6,235.59.

Pharmaceutical company Moderna said a proposed vaccine for the disease had sparked an immune responses in all volunteers participating in an early safety trial.

Luxury fashion retailer Burberry shrank 4.5% to £14.87 after its sales slumped 48% in the first quarter, or 45% on a like-for-like basis.

Burberry said it expected the pandemic to continue to hurt revenue in the second quarter, with like-for-like sales seen falling 15-20%.

Online fashion retailer Asos was weathering the crisis far better. Its shares climbed 1.8% to £34.33 after it forecast its annual profit to be at the top end of market expectations.

Asos's revenue for the 10 months through June rose 16% to £2.61bn, including a 9% rise in the latter four months of that period.

Electronics retailer Dixons Carphone slumped 5.2% to 82p after it posted another annual loss, blaming the cost of closing mobile phone stores and the Covid-19 crisis hurting sales.

Dixons Carphone also forecast more pain ahead as ongoing pressure on the economy from the pandemic continues to sap consumer confidence.

Pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline firmed 1.6% to £16.29 on announcing that a US Food and Drug Administration advisory committee had backed the use of a cancer therapy.

Precious metals miner Hochschild gained 1.6% to 193.3p even as it reported a fall in production in the second quarter, owing to coronavirus-related disruptions.

Water utility Severn Trent rose 0.5% to £23.96 after it said it still expected the Covid-19 crisis to have a negative impact on its annual revenue of between £50m and £85m.

Oil company Premier Oil dropped 4.3% to 43.38p, having reiterated its recently trimmed annual production guidance after output dropped in the first half as expected.

Premier Oil said discussions with a subset of its creditors regarding a long-term extension to credit maturities were underway, with an aim to agree terms by the end of July.

Retirement home developer McCarthy & Stone fell 0.9% to 73.76p as it swung to a deep first-half loss and scrapped its interim dividend.

Homewares manufacturer Portmeirion added 1.3% to 363.68p despite it forecasting a first-half loss after its like-for-like sales slumped 20% owing to the closure of its retail stores during lockdown.

Portmeirion, however, said it expected to return to profitability in the second half. Story provided by