US stocks closed lower on Wednesday as investors thumbed over earnings releases from the likes of Morgan Stanley, BNY Mellon and PepsiCo and looked to data that indicated stabilisation of China's economic growth.
The spotlight on Thursday will shift across the Channel, with investors waiting on the latest reading for IHS Markit's closely-followed manufacturing and services sector Purchasing Managers' indices covering the month of April.
Stocks on the Continent finished near their best levels of the session despite news that the German government had taken an axe to its growth forecasts again, thanks to unexpectedly strong readings on Chinese growth and better-than-expected results from some US corporates, including banking heavyweight Morgan Stanley.
London stocks finished on a mixed note on Wednesday despite the release of better-than-expected Chinese growth figures, as the latest UK inflation data undershot expectations.
Chinese officials appear to be preparing a stimulus package as they aim to improve sales of items such as cars and electronics after the nation's economy showed signs of reinvigoration on Wednesday.
Asos co-founder Nick Robertson disposed of 410,000 ordinary shares in the AIM-listed online retailer on Wednesday as part of an effort to fund his £70m divorce settlement.
London's FTSE 250 index was down 0. 19% at 19,885. 84 in afternoon trade on Wednesday, as Ferrexpo led the drop on the back of stuttering iron ore prices.
Analysts at Berenberg upped their target price on retailer JD Sports on Wednesday, noting that several near-term tailwinds had helped the group pick up the pace from a jog to a sprint.
Analysts at RBC Capital Markets reiterated their 'sector perform' rating on BHP following "another disappointing operational quarter", noting the performance was somewhat already priced in.
London's FTSE 100 was up 0. 1% at 7,474. 22 in afternoon trade on Wednesday as investors mulled over the latest UK inflation data.
America's shortfall on trade with the rest of the world narrowed significantly in February amid a pickup in sales of civilian aircraft.
US stocks opened mostly lower on Wednesday as investors thumbed over earnings releases from the likes of Morgan Stanley, BNY Mellon and PepsiCo and looked to data that indicated stabilisation of China's economic growth.
Financial services company Quilter reported a rise in first-quarter assets under management on Wednesday.
Tiger Resource said on Wednesday that it has sold off 625,000 shares in Block Energy, realising net proceeds of just over £64,000 which will be used as general working capital and to target new investments in the natural resource sector.
Serica Energy's shares leapt on Wednesday after acquisitions and the resumption of key operations led to a jump in annual revenue and profits, with output from the former running ahead of expectations.
Mark Carney told the financial sector not to ignore climate change, warning of the losses that it might trigger, including from lenders' stakes in polluting firms.
Asian markets were mixed on Wednesday, though the main Chinese indices performed particularly well after the National Bureau of Statistics announced that Asia's largest economy grew at an annual pace of 6. 4% during the first quarter, suggesting that government efforts to counteract a slowdown could be working.
Bank of New York Mellon's quarterly profit figures fell short of analysts' estimates on Wednesday, with lower client activity and declining assets under management pressuring fee revenues.
PowerHouse Energy's (PHE) shares climbed on Wednesday after it signed its first revenue generating contract to provide planning and engineering design services to its exclusive partner, Waste2Tricity Limited.
ConvaTec: Barclays upgrades to equal weight with a target price of 130p.