StockMarketWire.com - UK stocks are falling on Thursday morning in line with lower US markets and ahead of a midday decision by the Bank of England on interest rates, which were widely expected to be kept at 0.75%.

At 08:58, the benchmark FTSE 100 was 0.26%, or 18.95 points, lower at 7,366.31.

Royal Dutch Shell added 1.74% even as it posted a 2% decline in first-quarter profits as strong contributions from trading and higher LNG and gas prices were unable to completely offset the impact of lower realised oil prices and tax credits.

Paddy Power Betfair slumped 4.61% despite noting that its full-year profit outlook remained in line with expectations as "excellent" growth in Australia and the US drove a 17% year-on-year increase in first-quarter revenue.

Lloyds fell 1.01% after it reported flat first-quarter profits that fell short of market expectations amid exceptional costs including charges relating to payment protection insurance and an estimated charge for pulling the Standard Life Aberdeen investment mandate.

Reckitt Benckiser Group lost 1.50% after it posted a 1% increase in like-for-like sales in the first quarter, but said the slow start had been expected and left its full-year revenue target unchanged.

Rolls-Royce edged 0.087% lower as it said trading to date was in line with expectations and that it remained on track to meet its full-year targets.

James Fisher & Sons fell 0.4% as it said performance in the first quarter was in-line with its expectations despite conceding that performance in its marine support and specialist technical segments would be more second half-weighted due to the timing of projects.

Bucking the trend, Howden Joinery added 1.5% after it posted a 5.7% rise in revenues for first 16 weeks of the year as the company hiked up prices in January, against the backdrop of strong volume comparators last year.

Asset management company Schroders slipped 0.28% even as it posted a 4% rise in its assets under management in the first quarter to £377.9bn, supported by an increase in both institutional and intermediary managed funds.

Equitini added 1.40% as it said it had started the year "well" and was confident of meeting full-year expectations after winning a string of new mandates.

Property and casualty insurer Lancashire Holdings dropped 2.01% as it posted a modest uptick in premiums in the first quarter amid a relatively "benign" claims environment.

Transport services provider FirstGroup edged 0.55% higher after announcing it had appointed Ryan Mangold as Chief Financial Officer, with effect from 31 May.

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