StockMarketWire.com - UK markets have opened lower as health secretary Matt Hancock prepares to set out the regional tier system that will come into force when the England's lockdown lifts on 2 December, providing further clarity to businesses.

It comes a day after Chancellor Rishi Sunak delivered his Spending Review in which he said that the Office for Budget Responsibility forecasts the UK economy will contract 11.3% this year.

The FTSE 100 slipped 0.1%, or 8.88 points, to 6,382.21 while the FTSE 250 fell 0.3% or 52.36 points, to19,517.03.

Insurer Aviva lost 0.8% to 325.1p on the news it has cut its dividend by almost a third in an effort to pay down debt.

It declared a 7p per share interim dividend and a final dividend of 14p per share, taking the total dividend for the year to 21p per share for the year.

Water utility Severn Trent climbed 0.7% to £24.74 despite announcing lower revenue and earnings in the first half of the year, with group turnover of £887.6 million, down 2.5% as a result of Covid-19.

The company said the Ofwat regulatory model will allow it to recover shortfalls in this year's allowed wholesale revenue in 2022-23.

Power utility SSE declined 0.2% to £13.83 on the announcement that SSE Renewables, with its 50:50 joint venture partner Equinor, has reached financial close on the first two phases of Dogger Bank Wind Farm, which will be the world's biggest wind farm when all three phases are completed in March 2026.

Heat treatment company Bodycote tumbled 5.7% to 723p after it reported that for the four-month period to 31 October, revenue fell 20% to £193.6 million year-on-year, although it pointed to signs of a recovery from earlier in the year.

Britvic buoyed 1.9% to 826p after the soft drinks maker reported a slight rise in annual profit, but cut its dividend, declaring a full-year dividend of 21.6p a share, down 30p a share from last year.

Pub group Mitchells & Butlers nudged up 0.1% to 223.8p despite reporting a pre-tax loss for the year of £123 million and a decline in total revenue and operating profit.

But chief executive Phil Urban said the company was in 'a strong position to benefit when consumers are able to eat out again'.

Fuller, Smith & Turner, another pub group, gained 3% to 720.5p after it announced that for the 26 weeks to 26 September 2020, pre-tax losses were £23 million year-on-year, compared with a profit of £14.2 million as revenue fell to £45.6 million from £167.1 million.

LXi REIT has climbed 0.3% to 120.6p on the news that the real estate investment company has acquired 11 food stores and two discount stores from five different vendors and developers for £61 million. Story provided by StockMarketWire.com