UK stocks recovered some of their earlier losses on Thursday after Wall Street opened higher, reversing the aftermarket falls yesterday following the Federal Reserve's first cut in interest rates in a decade.
At 16.17 the benchmark FTSE 100 was down 0.2% or 16 points to 7,570 compared with a 40-point loss shortly after the open.
LARGE-CAP RISERS & FALLERS
Royal Dutch Shell ended as one of the biggest fallers, down 5% to £24.71 after it posted a drop in earnings in the first half of 2019, reflecting lower realised oil, gas and LNG prices, even as it announced the next tranche of its share buyback programme.
Anglo-Australian miner Rio Tinto fell 3.5% to £45.34 despite saying it would pay a special dividend of $1bn and posting an 11% increase in underlying earnings (EBITDA) in the first half of the year as higher iron ore prices offset lower volumes and higher costs.
The London Stock Exchange jumped 7.5% to £71.21 after it said it had agreed terms to acquire Refinitiv for $27bn. The company also reported a slight uptick in half-yearly profits led by strong performances in its information services and clearing businesses.
Insurer RSA climbed 0.3% to 562p as it reported an increase in first-half operating profits, driven by strong performance in its Personal Lines business.
Fund management firm Schroders was 2.46 higher at £30.46 despite reporting a 5% drop in net income in a 'challenging' market as more assets left the company than came in in the first half of the year.
Standard Chartered gained 4.1% to 705p after it posted an increase in profits for the first half of 2019 and said it was 'confident' it could achieve targets outlined in February. However, the chief financial officer warned of uncertainty surrounding trade and geopolitical risks.
Barclays added 1% to 156p as it hiked its dividend by a fifth after reporting a rise in half-yearly profits as lower litigation costs helped boost performance, easing the pressure from a challenging income environment.
Vodafone added 1.2% to 152p after it said it had completed the acquisition of Liberty Global's operations in Germany, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Romania for €18.4bn, making it Europe's leading converged operator.
GlaxoSmithKline rose 0.3% to £17.08 after it said it had completed its transaction with Pfizer to combine their consumer healthcare businesses into a joint venture.
SMALL-CAP RISERS & FALLERS
Medical supplies firm ConvaTec Group surged 18% to 184.4p as it reported improving sales momentum in the second quarter and maintained its margin target even while ramping up investments to support its turnaround.
Meanwhile outsourcer Capita surged 18% to 137.4p even as its half-yearly profits fell on a decline in revenues after the company said it was on track to restructure the business, control costs and pay down debt. Industrial automation firm Renishaw dropped 1.7% to £37.89 after it posted a fall in full-year revenue and profit amid 'challenging economic conditions', including US-China trade tensions and Brexit, and said it expected market conditions to remain difficult.
Coats Group was down 0.4% to 79.4p as it reported a rise in profits on improved margins but mixed conditions in underlying retail and industrial markets.
Satellite communications company Inmarsat edged 0.5% higher to 575p after it reported narrower losses in the first half of the year, led by growth in its aviation and government segments.