StockMarketWire.com - UK stocks opened lower on Monday as investors braced for the introduction of new local Covid-19 restrictions, expected to be outlined later in the day by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

At 0826, the benchmark FTSE 100 index was down 10.32 points, or 0.2%, at 6,006.33.

Johnson is expected to announce a three-tier grading system for restrictions that could force pubs, bars and gyms in some local areas to close.

International Airlines Group added 0.3% to 103.76p on announcing that Alex Cruz was standing down as chief executive of its British Airways unit.

Cruz would be replaced by Aer Lingus chairman and chief executive Sean Doyle, though he would remain as British Airways non-executive chairman.

Pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca shed 0.4% to £83.89, even after it secured $486 million from the US government to develop an antibody treatment for Covid-19.

AstraZeneca said it would initiate two related phase-three clinical trials, expected to kick off in the coming weeks.

Power control component supplier XP Power rallied 4.1% to £48.9218, having guided for an annual performance towards the top end of current analyst expectations after its third-quarter revenue jumped 28%.

On what was a big day for executive appointments, XP Power also announced that chief executive Duncan Penny would retire at the end of 2020, to be replaced by chief financial officer Gavin Griggs.

Bus and rail company National Express, meanwhile, fell 3.1% to 169.4p on announcing that it had appointed Ignacio Garat as as its chief executive, to replace current interim CEO Chris Davies.

Garat was most recently senior vice president Southern Europe, France and Benelux operations for FedEx.

Oil services group Petrofac dropped 1.9% to 114.3 following news that chief executive Ayman Asfari would retire at the end of the year, to focus on his family, health and charitable interests.

He would be replaced by Sami Iskander, executive vice president for Shell's upstream joint ventures business between 2016 and 2019.

Engineering and industrial software group Aveva reversed 3.2% to 45.87 after it forecast a drop in revenue to £333 million, citing FX headwinds and two subscription deals slipping into the third quarter.

Last year, Aveva reported first-half revenue of £391.9 million.

Cake retailer Cake Box rose 5.2% to 173.5p, despite having reported a fall in first-half revenue, owing to the impact of store closures, though it said pre-pandemic momentum had resumed as Covid-19 restrictions eased.

For the 20 weeks to 30 September, like-for-like sales had jumped around 12%, Cake Box said.

Middle East and Africa focused payments company Network International fell 2.3% to 310p on guiding for a 17% drop in annual revenue, which it said was at the top end of its guidance range.

Revenue in the third quarter also had fallen 17%, which Network International said marked an improvement from the 23% decline experienced in the second quarter.

Immunotherapies developer Scancell was unchanged at 16p, even as it raised £30 million from funds managed by US specialist healthcare investor Redmile.

Scancell said it was also planning raise around £3 million from an open offer of shares. Both raisings had an issue price of 13p per share.

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