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UK stocks slip ahead of BoE interest rate decision

Thursday, 1st November 2018
UK stocks are edging lower on Thursday morning ahead of the Bank of England's interest rate decision later in the session and as dollar-denominated FTSE firms suffered from sterling strength.

At 08:58, the benchmark FTSE 100 was seen down 0.2%, or 14.19 points, at 7,113.91.

Global oil company Royal Dutch Shell fell 2.1% after it reported a 37% increase in third-quarter profit to $5.6bn from $4.1bn a year earlier, and as it launched the second tranche of its share buyback programme.

But British takeaway ordering website Just Eat climbed jumped 4.48% after saying on Thursday it expected full-year revenue near the top end of guidance, but earnings near the lower end after reporting a jump in third-quarter revenue amid stronger performance in September.

And BT Group leapt 7.86% as it said Thursday that full-year earnings were expected toward the upper range of guidance after profits jumped by nearly a quarter in the first half of the year, driven by growth in its consumer division.

Global medical technology business Smith & Nephew also rose, adding 6.2% after reporting a 3% increase in third-quarter underlying revenue and reconfirming its full-year guidance.

However, Admiral slipped 0.099% after saying on Thursday that it expected to report an impairment charge from following an investment in the company at a discount. However, it stressed that full-year performance would meet guidance.

Stobart Group's Stobart Air climbed 1.07% as it said on Thursday it had secured a deal to provide BA CityFlyer with new aircraft, crew, maintenance and insurance services.

BHP rose 2.51% after announcing it would return $10.4bn to its shareholders through the combination of an off-market $5.2bn buyback programme and a further $5.2bn in the form of a special dividend.

Chemical company Croda edged 1.08% higher as it reaffirmed full-year guidance Thursday after reporting that its sales grew 3.4% in the third quarter, driven by a strong performance in the group's consumer businesses.

North-America focused oil and gas company Rose Petroleum rose 2.95% after it said it had received the final permit needed for it to start drilling the GV 22-1 well at Paradox acreage in Utah.

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