The FTSE 100 closed Thursday down 0.02%, in sync with a small bout of weakness in other European stocks. The edge down amongst European indices likely reflects some nervousness ahead of ahead of next week's central bank meetings, IG Group chief market analyst Chris Beauchamp says in a market comment. It will be a tall order to avoid a post-Fed, Bank of England and European Central Bank hangover descending on the market just as investors turn their thoughts toward Christmas, Beauchamp says.


Frasers Group Backs Guidance After Strong UK Sports, International Performance

Frasers Group has reported a 8% rise in pretax profit for the first half of fiscal 2024 with good growth in U.K. Sports and International and backed its full-year guidance.


DS Smith's Pretax Profit Fell on Lower Volumes, Prices; CEO to Retire

DS Smith said its pretax profit fell in the first six months of fiscal 2024 on lower volumes and prices, and that its Chief Executive Miles Roberts will retire.


AJ Bell Pretax Profit Rose on Higher Interest Rates

AJ Bell said its pretax profit rose in fiscal 2023, with revenue boosted by higher interest rates.


Watches of Switzerland Performance Boosted by US; UK, Europe Remain Challenging

Watches of Switzerland Group reported a fall in pretax profit for the first half of fiscal 2024 after booking higher finance costs and an impairment of assets in its accounts, and backed its full-year guidance.


Balfour Beatty Sees Higher Revenue on UK HS2 Railway, Hong Kong Airport Project

Balfour Beatty expects to report higher revenue for the year, boosted by higher HS2 railway volumes in the U.K. and increased airport project activity in Hong Kong.


Smart Metering Systems Agrees to $1.6 Bln KKR Takeover

Smart Metering Systems has agreed to a 1.3 billion-pound ($1.63 billion) takeover by Sienna Bidco, a new company owned by funds advised by private-equity firm KKR.


Future PLC Pretax Profit Fell on Lagging US Revenue; CFO to Retire

Future PLC said its pretax profit for fiscal 2023 fell and that its chief financial and strategy officer will step down later next year.


Vertu Motors Shares Fall on Profit Warning

Vertu Motors shares fell 20% in early trade after the company said that it will miss fiscal 2024 market forecasts, citing a number of negative external factors.


Games Workshop Expects Profit, Revenue to Rise

Games Workshop Group said it expects a rise in pretax profit and core revenue for the first half of fiscal 2024.


Kin & Carta Shares Rise on Improved GBP220.3 Mln Private Equity Takeover Pact

Kin & Carta shares rose 9.9% after the company said that it has agreed to an improved and final 220.3 million pound ($276.7 million) takeover by Kelvin UK Bidco, a new company indirectly owned by Apax Partners funds.


Mondi to Pay Special Dividend Following Sale of Russian Unit

Mondi said it will distribute a special dividend to shareholders with the proceeds from the disposal of its Russian business.


European Stocks Drop After Asia Losses; US Set to Open Lower

1237 GMT - European stocks mostly fall after downbeat Asia trading and ahead of an expected lower U.S. open. The Stoxx Europe 600 and DAX drop 0.2%, the CAC 40 edges 0.1% lower and the FTSE 100 trades flat. Oil shares trade mixed as Brent crude rises 0.8% to $74.88 a barrel. Australian stocks closed broadly flat, markets in mainland China, Hong Kong and South Korea fell and Japan's Nikkei dropped 1.8%. IG futures data show the Dow opening at 36004, versus Wednesday's lower close of 36054. "Poor Chinese trade data hit sentiment in the Asia-Pacific region as weakness in imports flagged fresh concerns about the Chinese economy," IG analysts write. "U.S. weekly unemployment claims are the main event Thursday." (

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(END) Dow Jones Newswires

12-07-23 1207ET