FTSE 100 opens lower but Royal Mail rises

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London’s stock market opened lower, despite boosts for both Royal Mail and Associated British Foods.

The benchmark FTSE 100 share index was down 37.40 points, or 0.5%, at 7,311.59 shortly after trading began.

Standard Life and Reckitt Benckiser were among the biggest fallers as their shares began trading without the right to the latest dividend.

But Royal Mail rose nearly 2% after the postal service said it was closing its defined benefit pension scheme.

Royal Mail said there was “no affordable solution” to retaining the scheme, as it would have to more than double its contributions to the scheme to £1bn a year by 2018 to keep it going.

Shares in Associated British Foods rose 3% after analysts at Jefferies raised their rating on the company to “buy” from “hold”.

On the currency markets, the pound rose 0.1% against the dollar to $1.2557 and was 0.3% higher against the euro at 1.1794 euros.

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