StockMarketWire.com - UK stocks are edging lower on Thursday morning ahead of the Bank of England's interest rate decision later in the session and as dollar-denominated FTSE firms suffered from sterling strength.

At 08:58, the benchmark FTSE 100 was seen down 0.2%, or 14.19 points, at 7,113.91.

Global oil company Royal Dutch Shell fell 2.1% after it reported a 37% increase in third-quarter profit to $5.6bn from $4.1bn a year earlier, and as it launched the second tranche of its share buyback programme.

But British takeaway ordering website Just Eat climbed jumped 4.48% after saying on Thursday it expected full-year revenue near the top end of guidance, but earnings near the lower end after reporting a jump in third-quarter revenue amid stronger performance in September.

And BT Group leapt 7.86% as it said Thursday that full-year earnings were expected toward the upper range of guidance after profits jumped by nearly a quarter in the first half of the year, driven by growth in its consumer division.

Global medical technology business Smith & Nephew also rose, adding 6.2% after reporting a 3% increase in third-quarter underlying revenue and reconfirming its full-year guidance.

However, Admiral slipped 0.099% after saying on Thursday that it expected to report an impairment charge from Compare.com following an investment in the company at a discount. However, it stressed that full-year performance would meet guidance.

Stobart Group's Stobart Air climbed 1.07% as it said on Thursday it had secured a deal to provide BA CityFlyer with new aircraft, crew, maintenance and insurance services.

BHP rose 2.51% after announcing it would return $10.4bn to its shareholders through the combination of an off-market $5.2bn buyback programme and a further $5.2bn in the form of a special dividend.

Chemical company Croda edged 1.08% higher as it reaffirmed full-year guidance Thursday after reporting that its sales grew 3.4% in the third quarter, driven by a strong performance in the group's consumer businesses.

North-America focused oil and gas company Rose Petroleum rose 2.95% after it said it had received the final permit needed for it to start drilling the GV 22-1 well at Paradox acreage in Utah.

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