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UK stocks slip in light pre-holiday trading

Thursday, 18th April 2019
UK stocks are slipping on Thursday in lighter trading ahead of the long Easter bank holiday weekend.

At 08:58, the benchmark FTSE 100 was 0.31%, or 23.16 points, lower at 7,448.16.

Funding Circle added 2.25% as it said revenues grew sharply as loans under management surged in the first quarter on the back of a 23% rise in originations.

Cyber security company Avast grew 2.89% as it reported a "strong" start to the year as ongoing momentum supported an uptick in first-quarter revenues.

Unilever climbed 2.6% as it continued to expect full-year underlying sales growth to be in the lower half of its multi-year 3-5% range, it said, as it reported that underlying first-quarter sales grew 3.1%.

Healthcare company BTG edged 0.06% lower said product sales for the year were at the upper end of its expectations, while licensing revenues were broadly flat as royalty incomes were hurt by the launch of copycat drugs.

Rentokil rose 0.95% as it said it had had a "good start" to 2019 across all its businesses as first-quarter ongoing revenue increased 8.9%, supported in particular by strong growth in its Pest Control sector in both the growth and emerging markets.

Aveva rose 0.92% as it generated low double-digit revenue growth for the full year as 'positive' performance seen in the first nine months of the year continued in the fourth quarter.

Price comparison website jumped 7.78% after it reported an increase in first-quarter revenue, boosted by the "exceptional" performance of the Home Services sector.

Intu properties lost 0.08% after it agreed to sell a 50% stake in its Derby shopping centre to investment firm Cale Street investments for £186.3m as part of a 50/50 joint venture joint venture agreement.

Polymetal International grew 0.57% after it reported strong gold and gold equivalent production in the first quarter of 2019 as it maintained its full-year cost guidance.

Angus Energy climbed 2.6% after it raised its ownership in the Lidsey licence to 80% after completing the acquisition of Doriemus' 20% stake in the licence for £467,377 in shares.

Galantas Gold Corporation fell 3.26% as it reported a wider first-half pre-tax loss as increased costs offset a jump in revenue.

RWS Holdings gained 3.82% after it said it remained confident of another record year as it posted record revenues for the first half of 2019, with strong performances across all of its divisions.

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