The FTSE 100 closed up 0.3% at 7772.17 points on Wednesday, boosted by U.K. GDP growth up 0.2% in January. "While the figure is tiny, the fact it is growing at all is a positive. Investors want the U.K.'s recession status cast into the rear-view mirror so they can focus on how potential looser monetary policy could provide relief to consumers and businesses, and in turn feed into greater economic activity," AJ Bell Investment Director Russ Mould said. Antofagasta was the day's highest riser, up 5.3%, followed by Glencore and Anglo American, up 4.8% and 4.6% respectively. JD Sports Fashion, Vodafone Group, and Rentokil Initial were the session's biggest fallers, down 4.1%, 4.0% and 3.1% respectively.


British American Tobacco Sells ITC Shares for $2.02 Bln, Aims to Use Funds for Buybacks

British American Tobacco has sold 436.85 million shares of diversified Indian conglomerate ITC for 166.9 billion Indian rupees ($2.02 billion), and said it will use the money raised to buy back shares through December of next year.


Keywords Studios Pretax Profit Falls on Higher Costs

Keywords Studios said pretax profit fell after its booking higher costs, and that it expects to deliver strong revenue and profit growth.


Balfour Beatty Launches Share Buyback, Expects Growth to Accelerate

Balfour Beatty launched a share buyback program despite reporting a profit fall in 2023 and said it expects growth to accelerate.


Liontrust Asset Management Says It Isn't in Talks to Buy Artemis

Liontrust Asset Management isn't in talks to buy U.K.-based fund manager Artemis Investment Management, the company said.


Hochschild Mining Swings to Loss on Impairments, Lower Production

Hochschild Mining swung to a pretax loss in 2023 on impairments and lower production, while its adjusted earnings rose on higher gold and silver prices.


Metro Bank Swings to Pretax Profit; Upgrades Cost Savings Guidance

Metro Bank Holdings swung to a pretax profit in 2023, turning the page on four years of losses, and said it expects to save more in costs in the year ahead.


Victoria Launches Share Buyback; Flags Lower Earnings, Revenue

Victoria said it will start a share buyback program but warned that it expects earnings and revenue for fiscal 2024 to fall.


McBride Expects Annual Revenue Growth Through Next Five Years

McBride is targeting annual revenue growth of 2% over the next five years, it said ahead of its capital markets day on Wednesday.


BP, Adnoc $2 Bln Offer for Israel's NewMed Put on Hold Due to Regional Uncertainty

BP's joint offer with Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. to take Israel's NewMed Energy private and form a joint venture has been put on hold due to uncertainty in the region, the Israeli gas producer said.


Direct Line Rejects Second Ageas Takeover Proposal

Direct Line Insurance Group has rejected an improved 3.11 billion pound ($3.98 billion) takeover approach from Ageas as it significantly undervalues the company and its future prospects.


Man Group's Earning Momentum Prompts Upgrade

1141 GMT - Man Group has earnings momentum given its higher expected performance fees and its resilient inflows driven by higher margin alternatives, Bank of America Global Research says in a note. "We expect organic growth in 2024 to improve, supported by a recovery in long-only in 2H24 as rates are expected to fall," analysts write. "Man's liquid alternatives are expected to have continued net inflows driven by strong returns year-to-date, a hedge to heightened public market valuations, and demand for 'crisis alpha'," they add. BofA pencils in another $50 million share buyback program in 2H on the back of higher fees. BofA raises its rating on the active investment manager to buy from neutral and its target price to 300 pence from 250 pence. (


CEO of Missile Maker MBDA Says 2023 Was 'Extraordinary'

1118 GMT - The CEO of MBDA, Europe's largest missile maker, says that "2023 was an extraordinary year" generating 4.5 billion euros of revenues, up from 4.2 billion euros in 2022. In 2023, orders came in at 9.9 billion euros of orders, 10% higher than 2022, with an order backlog at 28 billion euros. Of those orders, 70% were for air defence and 24% for export outside of Europe. MBDA is owned by BAE Systems, Leonardo and Airbus. The company promises over 2.4 billion euros investment over the next five years. (

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(END) Dow Jones Newswires

03-13-24 1301ET