The FTSE 100 added 0.2% to 7,548.26 on Thursday morning following an improvement in sentiment for global equities and a strong performance on Wall Street. The major corporate news of the morning was Royal Dutch Shell's (RDSA) 242% leap in earnings to $12bn in 2017, driven by higher oil prices. This failed to win over investors, with the stock down 1.9% to 2,415p in early trading. Vodafone (VOD) slipped 1.3% to 221.7p after reporting revenue fell by 3.6% to €11.8 billion in the quarter ending 31 December, driven by the deconsolidation of Vodafone Netherlands and FX movements. Unilever (ULVR) reported underlying sales growth excluding spreads of 3.5% for 2017, with growth in all its categories, sending its shares 0.3% higher to 4,013p. Glencore (GLEN) slipped 0.4% to 402.1p after saying own source copper production fell 116,100, or 8%, to 1,309,700 tonnes for the 12 months through 31 December 2017. Meanwhile, 3i (III) gained 1.7% to 946.9p on news its NAV increased 19.4% to 701 pence per share for the nine months to 31 December 2017. NEX Group (NXG), a financial technology company, surged 8.4% to 643p after reporting its group revenue rose by 3% on a constant currency basis, or 5% on a reported basis, in the third quarter ended 31 December. RPS (RPS) plummeted 12% to 256.3p after saying its energy profits for 2017 will be lower than expected and that the group will make a goodwill impairment charge of £40m.
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