StockMarketWire.com - UK stocks are falling on Thursday as uncertainty permeates the market following sharp losses in the US and Asian equities markets, filtering through into Europe.

At 0858, the benchmark FTSE 100 index was down 40.42 points, or 0.58%, at 6,922.49.

Lloyds Banking Group climbed 1.55% as it said its profits topped analysts' expectations in the third quarter despite falling modestly compared to a year earlier. The bank also announced that its Chief Financial Officer, George Culmer, would retire in the third quarter of 2019.

BT Group slipped 1.14% as it said Thursday it had appointed Philip Jansen as Chief Executive. Following a handover period, Jansen would take over the role from Gavin Patterson on 1 February 2019, the company said.

Global advertising and PR company WPP slumped 15.49% after it reported a continued slowdown in the third quarter, impacted by further weakening of the performance of its North American businesses and creative agencies, against a backdrop of structural change in the industry.

Chemicals company Elementis edged 0.71% lower after it said Thursday it was confident of making further financial and strategic progress for the rest of the year after reporting solid performance in the third quarter. Insurance provider Hastings plummeted 11.54% as it said Thursday it expected the loss ratio for the full year would be at the lower end of the target range even as claims inflation continued to exceed premium inflation.

Beleaguered UK department store group Debenhams jumped 20.70% on Thursday as it scrapped its dividend after reporting a full-year loss and said it would close up to 50 of its stores as it continued to grapple with a gloomy retail backdrop.

Global professional services firm RPS slid 30.63% as it reported lower-than-expected profit before tax and amortisation in the third quarter of 2018 as strategic investments to drive sustainable growth impacted profitability.

Drax Group edged 1.44% higher as it said Thursday that Andy Skelton had been appointed as Chief Financial Officer.

Engineering group Aveva added 0.63% as it said it expected low double digit revenue growth in the first half of the year, and touted a second-half performance boost from its tie-up with Schneider Electric.

Homebuilder Countryside Properties rose 0.22% as it said it had been selected as the development partner of Kingston Council to work with the council and local residents on the regeneration of the Cambridge Road Estate.

Gene and cell therapy group Oxford BioMedica fell 1.71% as it announced that its partner Axovant had successfully dosed the first patient in a clinical study for a novel gene therapy to treat patients with Parkinson's disease.

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