UNITED KINGDOM: London stocks opened lower on Wednesday, with insurer Prudential hitting the bottom of the FTSE 100 index after full-year results, while investors awaited the UK spring budget due later in the day.
The blue-chip FTSE 100 lost 0.4% by 0823 GMT, trading in the red after jumping more than 1% on Tuesday. Prudential fell 4.3%.
The Asia-focused insurer reported an 8% jump in full-year year profit, while the company's chief financial officer James Turner also said the insurer had a $1 million exposure to Silicon Valley Bank which was 'minimal' against a total debt book of $23 billion.
Lower gold prices weighed on precious metal miners, taking the index down 1.4%. The more domestically-focussed FTSE 250 midcap index also lost 0.3%.
Investors would be keenly awaiting the UK's spring budget, with Finance Minister Jeremy Hunt due to make a budget speech to parliament at around 1230 GMT.
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