- Financial stocks continued to weigh on the FTSE 100, down 0.6% at 7,387.

Standard Chartered (STAN) declined 2.7% to 755p and Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) fell 2.2% to 258.1p.

Legal & General (LGEN) ticked 0.4% lower to 267.7p, while HSBC (HSBA) suffered a 1.3% drop to 738p.

Cigarette seller British American Tobacco (BATS) went ex-dividend and was down 0.8%.

Brent crude oil rallied 1% to $50.79 per barrel. Gold gained 0.5% to $1,284 per ounce and copper cheapened 0.8% to $6,459 per tonne.


On Wall Street, investors were concerned about delays in interest rate hikes after the Federal Reserve's latest meeting revealed worries over weak inflation.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq index took the biggest hit when the markets opened on Thursday and slumped 0.8% to 6,290.


In UK corporate news, B&Q's disappointing contribution proved a drag for owner Kingfisher's (KGF). The home improvement retailer said B&Q's seasonal performance declined 11% and reported overall sales fell by 1.9%, prompting the share price to slump 4.4% to 293.9p.


Hikma Pharmaceuticals (HIK) tumbled 10.4% to £11.90 after it reduced guidance for its injectables and generics divisions. The pharma firm blamed increased pricing and volume competition in the US and lower than expected sales growth in MENA for the downbeat outlook.

Allied Minds (ALM) continued to have a difficult year as its loss widened from $52.2m to $58.2m in the first six months of the year. Earlier this year co-founder Chris Silva unexpectedly left the company, prompting concern from the market about how Allied Minds will perform in the future.

Investors were not willing to gamble with casino operator Rank Group (RNK) after like-for-like sales rose by 1% to £754m in the year to 30 June 2017 due to a challenging retail environment. The stock retreated 6% to 225p.

Landscape products group Marshalls (MSLH) fared better thanks to a 16% jump in pre-tax profit to £29.1m in the first half of the year, which drove the share price 3.7% higher to 415.2p.

In the mining sector, KAZ Minerals' (KAZ) revenues more than doubled to $837m in the first six months of 2017 on the back of higher volumes and commodity prices, but failed to spark the stock at 706.8p.


YOLO Leisure and Technology (YOLO) catapulted 65% to 0.8p after its investee company Electric Jukebox launch a family music entertainment system, ROXI, in the UK and US. The company said the 'addressable market' is 34 million.

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