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UK stocks open higher after Fed’s positive assessment

UK stocks opened 0.5% higher on Wednesday after Fed’s positive assessment of the US economy

UK stocks opened 0.5% higher on Wednesday after a positive assessment of the US economy by Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell helped inspire gains across global markets.

The benchmark FTSE 100 index was up 34.09 points at 7.660.42 at morning.

Mining giant BHP Billiton gained 2.9% after it boosted its annual iron ore production to a record following completion of a rail reliability project in Australia's Pilbara region. Copper and metallurgical coal production also rose, though oil and gas output fell.

Low-cost airline easyJet ascended 2.7% after it raised its full-year profit forecast amid strong growth in third-quarter passenger volumes and ticket prices.

Engineering company Smiths Group dropped 6.7% amid a warning that its medical unit would perform below expectations, due, in part, to certain products being de-certified in a European regulatory review.

Tullow Oil said that it had lost a legal dispute against Kosmos Energy related to costs associated with a disputed rig-hire contract in Ghana. Its shares fell 0.1%.

Plastics design and engineering company RPC Group shed 5.5%, despite boosting first-quarter revenue. The company also warned of higher costs in its auto division and acknowledged that it may need to sell assets to pursue growth opportunities and increase dividends.

Premier Foods lost 3.1% amid investor disappointment with a 1.7% rise in first-quarter sales, which the company said was driven by a relaunch of its Mr. Kipling pie and cake brand.

Specialist components supplier Meggitt added 1.4% on news it had won separate contacts with US aerospace group Textron and Chinese aircraft manufacturer XAC.

Sports betting and gaming group GVC fell 2.7%, as it reported a 3% fall in like-for-like gaming revenue in the first half, despite a trading bump from the World Cup.

NewRiver REIT gained 2.0% after it collected flat average rents from its retail properties in the first quarter, despite lower customer footfall.