StockMarketWire.com - UK stocks opened 0.7% higher on Tuesday, recouping much of Monday's losses, as investors reassessed contagion risks from the implosion of Chinese property developer Evergrande.

At 0817, the benchmark FTSE 100 index was up 49.81 points, or 0.7%, at 6,953.72.

Bus and train group Stagecoach rallied 18% to 80.5p on news that it was in talks to be acquired by by rival National Express in a deal that would see Stagecoach own about 25% of the combined group.

Stagecoach shareholders would get 0.36 new National Express shares for each Stagecoach share. National Express jumped 7.5% to 239.8p.

DIY retailer Kingfisher dropped 2.8% to 357.56p even after it announced a £300 million share buyback, having boosted its first-half profit by 71% and upgraded its second-half sales guidance.

Kingfisher, which still is expecting a fall in second-half sales, upped its interim dividend to 3.8p per share, from 2.75p year-on-year.

Builders' merchant Travis Perkins added 0.7% to £17.02 on announcing it would return the proceeds of a £325 million sale of its plumbing unit to shareholders via a 35p per share special dividend and share buyback.

Travis Perkins had in May announced the sale of the plumbing and heating business to an affiliate of HIG Capital. On Tuesday, it said the deal was expected to be wrapped up at the end of September.

Catering group Compass shed 0.5% to £14.79 despite forecasting a fourth-quarter performance slightly ahead of its expectations amid improved outdoor sports attendance, and strong customer spending.

Compass, however, also flagged a drag from adverse currency movements, forecasting foreign exchange translation to reduce 2020 reported revenue by around £943 million and operating profit by £39 million.

Pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca edged back less than 0.1% to £85.54, having detailed plans to invest $360 million in a manufacturing facility in Ireland to meet the needs of its new medicines pipeline.

High-tech product supplier Oxford Instruments climbed 2.5% to £24.25 on guiding for full-year trading to be 'slightly ahead' of expectations, even as it faces currency headwinds.

Building materials group SIG firmed 2.7% to 51.2p after it narrowed first-half losses and upgraded its annual guidance, as turnaround efforts gained traction.

Advertising firm M&C Saatchi gained 5.4% to 153.82p, having reported a rise in first-half profit and upgraded its annual guidance, as demand bounces back following an end to lockdowns. Story provided by StockMarketWire.com