- UK stocks opened higher on Wednesday, buoyed by vaccine and US stimulus optimism, plus a pleasing trading update from telecom bellwether Vodafone.

At 0820, the benchmark FTSE 100 index was up 40.64 points, or 0.6%, at 6,557.29.

Vodafone gained 2.9% to 131.1p, even as it reported a 4.1% fall in third-quarter revenue, pinned on lower international roaming due to the pandemic.

Vodafone, however, also posted a small rise in organic services revenue -- a closely watched measure -- and reaffirmed full-year adjusted earnings guidance of between €14.4 billion and €14.6 billion.

Pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline rose 0.8% to £13.7857 on news that it had formed a €150 million collaboration with CureVacto to develop mRNA-based Covid-19 vaccines, by 2022.

GlaxoSmithKline said it also would support the manufacture of up to 100 million doses of CureVac's first generation Covid-19 vaccine candidate.

Miner and commodities trader Glencore edged back 0.1% to 246.45p, having reported substantial falls in 2020 copper and cobalt output, pinned on the closure of its Mutanda mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Glencore left its annual production guidance for 2021 unchanged.

Fellow miner Anglo American firmed 0.5% to £24.405 as the value of rough diamond sales at its De Beers rose during the first cycle of 2021 rose to $650 million.

Student accommodation provider Unite shed 2.6% to 959p after it extended a 50% rent discount for students to seven weeks from four, in light of the UK's latest national Covid-19 lockdown.

Unite said the loss of rental income associated with the additional three-week rental discount was up to £6 million.

Budget carrier Wizz Air ascended 1.5% to £46.84 despite announcing that it carried 82% less passengers during the month of January year-on-year, as the pandemic continued to hurt travel markets.

Food court and publishing group Time Out added 1.4% to 36p following news that it had agreed with developer Aldar Properties to open a new market on Abu Dhabi's Saadiyat Island.

The food market was expected to open in 2023 and would be Time Out's second in the United Arab Emirates, with a Dubai market set to open in the first half of 2021.

Out-of-hospital services provider Totally gained 4.2% to 33.75p after urgent care and planned care divisions won a further contract extension and new contract, respectively.

Immunotherapy developer Scancell slumped 9.3% to 12.92p on announcing that its vaccine partnership with charity Cancer Research UK had been terminated by mutual agreement.

Scancell cited the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and Cancer Research UK's 're-evaluation of their collaboration model', for the decision. It would explore options to advance the programme either in house or with another partner.

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