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UK stocks off to positive start after US gains

Thursday, 8th November 2018
UK stocks got off to a positive start on Thursday morning, boosted by gains in the US market following the country's mid-term results.

At 08:58, the benchmark FTSE 100 was seen up 0.29%, or 20.97 points, at 7,138.25.

AstraZeneca climbed 2.01% despite announcing that third-quarter earnings fell by more than a third as a slump in externalisation revenue, lower margins and increased costs weighed on performance.

UK fashion brand Burberry edged 0.72% higher as it said Thursday pre-tax profit rose sharply in the first half of the year as cost cuts helped offset flat retail revenue growth.

Supermarket giant Sainsbury's slipped 0.063% after reporting a 20% increase in its underlying pre-tax profit, boosted by substantial cost savings and synergies from its in-house Argos stores.

Food ingredients manufacturer Tate & Lyle added 1.14% as it announced a 30% drop in pre-tax profit to £113m for the six months to 30 September. But it said this was in line with expectations and left its full-year guidance unchanged.

Satellite firm Inmarsat slumped 6.67% as a modest increase in third-quarter revenues boosted by strong growth from its aviation division was overshadowed by a sharp rise in investment costs.

BBA Aviation fell 2.82% as it said Thursday it expected full-year underlying operating profit to be broadly in line with expectations even as its Signature division's performance was hurt by the softer-than-expected US B&GA market.

National Grid rose 0.76% even as it reported a 6% drop in first-half operating profit due to the impact of the US tax reform, storms in the US and the return of allowances it had received for its shelved Avonmouth pipeline project.

Fashion brand Superdry added 0.17% after reporting an increase in its Global Brand revenue in the first half against "a challenging backdrop" which saw trading affected by unseasonably hot weather and impacting sales of its cold-weather clothing.

3i Group was little changed at just 0.046% higher as the firm said it remained on track to deliver on its full-year dividend target after reporting Thursday that first-half net assets returns topped management's expectations.

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