StockMarketWire.com - UK stocks turned negative after opening higher Thursday as fears about a longer lockdown overshadowed positive vaccine news amid worries that Covid-19 restrictions will slow the economic recovery.

At 09:00, the benchmark FTSE 100 index was down 52 points, or 0.83%, at 6,332.38.

AstraZeneca climbed 0.2% to 8,201p as the drugmaker indicated its coronavirus vaccine being developed in partnership with the University of Oxford was safe and triggered a similar immune response among all adults.

Kingfisher fell 4.1% to 289.9p despite reporting that Q3 sales were boosted from a lockdown-fueled rise in home spending demand.

Royal Mail jumped 7% even as the company reported a 90% slump in profit in the first half of the year, but a surge in online shopping boosted parcel deliveries and bolstered its revenue.

Online brokerage CMC Markers climbed 2.2% to 404p after upgrading its outlook and hiking its interim dividend after profit surged on strong client trading activity.

Investment management firm Investec 3.74% to 196.6p after the firm halved its interim dividend as first-half profit was hurt by lower revenue amid falling interest rates.

Chemicals company Johnson Matthey slipped 1.56% to 2,509p after cutting its dividend and reporting a slump in profit in the first half of the year.

Residential landlord Grainger rose 2.2% to 308.6p as it increased its dividend despite reporting a fall in annual profit as revenue declined amid the impact of the pandemic.

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