- News that UK borrowing hit £34.1 billion in December 2020, the third-highest borrowing in any month since monthly records began in 1993, weighed heavily on UK markets, which opened lower.

Meanwhile, the latest figures showed mixed retail sales figures, with a 0.3% increase in retail sales volumes in December when compared with the previous month, helped by a rebound in sales at clothing stores, but a record annual decline in sales volumes of 25% for clothing stores in 2020 when compared with 2019.

The FTSE 100 was down 0.3%, or 17.99 points, to 6,697.43, while the FTSE 250 was also 0.3% lower to 20,740.21.

Pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline was buoyed 0.2% to £13.66 on the announcement that ViiV Healthcare, which it majority owns, has received US regulatory approval for its HIV treatment regime Cabenuva.

Computacenter has gained 3.1% to £25.30 after the technology company lifted its guidance on full-year profit, boosted by acquisitions, with adjusted pre-tax profit for the year now expected to be in excess of £195 million.

IT provider Kainos has soared 13% to £12.84 after it said a strong trading performance meant that results for the year ending 31 March 2021 are expected to be ahead of current market consensus expectations.

Toy company Character has fallen 1.1% to 420.6p despite having reported that it would meet current market expectations, with UK sales for the four months to 31 December 2020 up 25% over the same period in 2019.

Botswana Diamonds has lost 6.9% to 0.68p following the announcement that the mining company plans to raise £363,000 through placing of shares at a discount.

Mediclinic International has headed 2.4% lower to 292.6p after it reported a 2.5% rise in group revenue in the third quarter, due to 'unseasonably high' demand for inpatient services in December.

Pantheon International has nudged up 0.4% to £24.64 after the private equity investor said its net asset value (NAV) per share decreased, down 1.5% or -47.8p, in December compared to November, and reported making £27 million of new commitments during the month.

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