Stock markets also experienced a decline on Thursday. Nvidia's optimistic revenue outlook boosted tech stocks, but the UK's utility sector weighed on the British market, primarily dragged down by National Grid, which plummeted by 10.9% following its announcement of a substantial capital increase aimed at funding investments for achieving net-zero emissions. 

UK retail sales experienced a significant drop in April, falling by 2.7% from the previous year, which was a steeper decline than the expected 0.2%. The poor weather in April was cited as a factor that kept shoppers at home. Retailers in London, such as Marks & Spencer, and Tesco, saw their shares decline in early trading.

The UK's political focus is currently on energy policy as the general election campaign heats up, after Rishi Sunak announced a July 4 vote. The Labour Party is promoting a plan for a publicly-owned green electricity generator to cut bills and improve energy security, while the Conservative Party is accused of not being transparent about the costs associated with their net-zero power plans.

Intertek Group was a top performer in the FTSE 100, with shares up by 2.1% after reporting revenue growth and confirming its outlook for 2024. GSK shares remained flat despite a favorable jury verdict in the first Zantac case to go to trial. AJ Bell fell 4% after its founder sold 7.5 million shares in the company.

Investors will be closely monitoring upcoming economic data, including US durable goods orders, for further indications of the economic outlook and potential monetary policy actions by central banks.

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