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London’s benchmark finished in the green on Wednesday, boosted by strong performances from the likes of Next and Smurfit Kappa, but offset by ongoing concerns about the Covid-19 pandemic and ahead of the Federal Reserve’s latest policy announcement.
Remote Monitored Systems announced a strategic partnership between its security and risk management consultancy subsidiary Cloudveil and UK-based integrated security provider Axis Security Services on Wednesday.
Graphene specialist Directa Plus has signed a technical and commercial agreement with automotive design and engineering company Italdesign.
Global Petroleum announced on Wednesday that, in connection with licence PEL0094, or Block 2011A, offshore Namibia, the Namibian Ministry of Mines and Energy has agreed to extend the licence sub-period from September 2020 to September 2021.
Tanzania-focussed coal company Edenville Energy said on Wednesday that the restart of operations at the Rukwa Coal Project has been brought forward, and would now begin on 3 August.
Integumen announced on Wednesday that it has secured a £3m, three-year loan facility with Riverfort Global Opportunities and YA II PN.
Biotherapeutics and reagents developer Avacta Group announced an expansion of its collaboration and license agreement with Daewoong Pharmaceutical and AffyXell Therapeutics - the joint venture established in South Korea by the two companies - to develop stem cell treatments on Wednesday.
Markets in Asia finished in a mixed state on Wednesday, with equities in China leading the gains, as investors held their collective breath ahead of the Federal Reserve interest rate decision later in the global day.
FDM Group reported a 5% improvement in revenue in its first half on Wednesday, to £140. 5m, although its adjusted operating profit slid 24% to £20. 5m.
Lancashire Holdings reported a “resilient” business model in its first half on Wednesday, despite the global disruption caused by Covid-19, as gross premiums written increased 15. 3% year-on-year to $495. 5m (£382. 23m), although it did swing to a loss before tax of $23m.
Rathbone Brothers reported a 2% fall in total funds under management and administration to £49. 4bn at the end of its first half on Wednesday, from the £50. 4bn at the end of December.
Drax Group reported a 30% improvement in group adjusted EBITDA in its first half on Wednesday, to £179m.
Smith & Nephew reported an 18. 7% fall in revenue in its first half on Wednesday, to $2. 035bn (£1. 57bn), as it swung to an operating loss of $5m, from a profit of $419m a year earlier.
Aveva Group said it delivered “strong growth” in recurring revenue during the first quarter on Wednesday, although its overall revenue was down amid the Covid-19 crisis, and as it transitioned its business model.
London open The FTSE 100 is expected to open nine points lower on Wednesday, having closed up 0. 4% at 6,129. 26 on Tuesday.