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Business and unions call for May to change course on Brexit

Britain's employers and unions have called on Theresa May to abandon her uncompromising stance and seek consensus to avoid a “reckless” no-deal Brexit, while European Union leaders convened to decide on her request for an extension.

Renishaw slumps as it warns over full-year results

Shares in Renishaw slumped as the engineering group cautioned that full-year results would come in below previous guidance.

London midday: Miners lift FTSE 100 but mid-caps slide

London's blue chips climbed higher on the back of gains for resources companies and a fall in the pound on Thursday amid increased Brexit uncertainty, which saw pressure on the more domestically flavoured mid-cap index.

May blames MPs for Brexit delay in attempt to sway public

UK Prime Minister Theresa May infuriated MPs when she blamed them for the delay to Brexit in a blatant and risky attempt to turn public opinion against parliament.

Sports Direct tries again with Debenhams EGM demand

Sports Direct's Mike Ashley has for the second time requisitioned a general meeting of Debenhams as his first effort was declared null and void.

JPMorgan Cazenove downgrades Lookers amid cost inflation woes

JPMorgan Cazenove downgraded its recommendation on car dealership Lookers to 'neutral' from 'overweight' and cut the price target to 98p from 129 on Thursday, highlighting the problem of cost inflation.

London open: Stocks edge up as miners rally; Next drops after results

London stocks edged higher in early trade on Thursday, with mining and precious metals companies lending support as investors digested a dovish policy announcement from the Federal Reserve, looked ahead to the latest announcement from the Bank of England and mulled overnight Brexit events.

SafeStyle profits slip amid 'disruption' from new competitor

Safestyle on Thursday reported that it swung to a loss in 2018 as the business incurred litigation costs and "an unprecedented period of disruption and change" resulted in a drop in revenue.

Next sees threats and opportunities for year ahead

Clothing retailer Next confirmed full-year sales and profits in line with its pre-close statement in January and maintained its central guidance for earnings to grow 3.6% for the year ahead.

Thursday newspaper round-up: Oil rigs, car industry, StanChart, Brexit

Oil rigs could soon be run on renewable energy and battery power under new plans to help the North Sea play its part in the energy transition. The industry’s regulator, the Oil and Gas Authority, is preparing to lead a new project to forge closer links between the oil producers and wind farm developers operating in UK waters. – Telegraph

Revenue and earnings rise comfortably at Energean

Energean Oil & Gas reported a decent rise in its sales revenue in the 2018 financial year on Thursday, with the figure ending the year at $90.3m, compared to $57.8m a year earlier.

IG's quarterly trading revenues disappoint, but client numbers rise

IG Group's revenues fell 12% in the third quarter compared to the second as the online trading platform continued to adjust to new regulations and lower levels of volatility in financial markets in the last two months.

London pre-open: Stocks seen higher as investors mull dovish Fed, eye BoE

London stocks looked set for a positive open on Thursday following a dovish policy announcement from the Federal Reserve, as investors eye the latest policy announcement from the Bank of England and any further Brexit-related headlines.

Sector movers: Fed talks lifts gold higher, hits banks

Metals and miners fuelled the gains on Thursday, while electronic engineers, real estate and banks were notably in the red.

PV Crystalox Solar mulls cash return to shareholders as operations wind down

Photovoltaic supplier PV Crystalox Solar reported a significant drop in revenues in its final results on Thursday, to €6.3m, compared to €26.4m in 2017.

UK retail sales continue to bounce back

UK retail bounced back more than expected last month, boosted by online non-food shopping and motor fuel sales.

LPA Group expecting more active second half after quiet start to year

LED lighting and electrical connecter manufacturer LPA Group confirmed that its year had started quietly on Thursday, following delays to some of the major rail projects it was involved in, including London’s Crossrail.

Strix Group sees decent growth as it maintains global market share

Kettle safety control manufacturer Strix Group reported a year of “solid performance” in its final results on Thursday, including 7.9% growth in sales volumes and a 2.7% improvement in revenue to £93.8m.

Merlin Entertainments is a 'sell', Berenberg says

Merlin Entertainments is incorrectly “priced for perfection” and investors should sell the theme park operator’s shares, Berenberg analysts said.

Government borrowing falls to 17-year low

UK government borrowing fell to a 17-year low for the financial year so far, supporting improved official forecasts and giving the chancellor room to ease the strain on public services.

Wynnstay warns on profits as farmers eye Brexit, weather

Wynnstay Group's shares plummeted on Thursday after the agricultural products supplier said it was trading behind seasonal norms amid Brexit uncertainty and warned that its interim results will fall "substantially" compared to last year.

Initial weekly US jobless claims drop sharply

US jobless claims, one of the most closely-followed indicators of the health of the jobs market, dropped more sharply than expected over the preceding week.

Civitas buys 19 regulated social housing properties for £74m

Civitas Social Housing has completed the purchase of 19 regulated social housing properties, comprising 266 tenancies, for a total consideration of around £73.5m, it announced on Thursday.

Berenberg downgrades Bodycote to 'hold' on valuation grounds

Berenberg downgraded Bodycote shares to 'hold' from 'buy' on Thursday on valuation grounds.

Asia report: Most markets advance as Fed holds rates steady

Most markets in Asia were in positive territory as they closed on Thursday, as investors digested news that the US Federal Reserve was standing pat on interest rates, and likely continuing to do so for the rest of the year.