- Reports of a Brexit deal for the UK financial services sector kept the pound sky high, pushing the FTSE 100 lower by 0.2% to 7,114.

Oil prices sharply dropped 2.9% to $72.85 per barrel on reports of more oil production from Russia, the US and oil cartel OPEC.

Gold glittered at $1,231 per ounce and copper climbed 1.6% to $2.71 per pound.

Oil major Royal Dutch Shell fell 3.5% to £24.75 after it reported a 37% increase in third-quarter profit to $5.6bn, short of consensus forecasts for $5.8bn though up from $4.1bn a year earlier, and as it launched the second tranche of its share buyback programme.

Rival BP slipped 4.5% to 541.5p on weaker oil prices.

On Wall Street, investor sentiment was stronger with the Dow Jones rising 0.8% to 25,314 around 4:45pm UK time.


British takeaway ordering website Just Eat jumped 6.2% 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 surged 9% as it said on 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 6.5% to £13.57 after reporting a 3% increase in third-quarter underlying revenue and reconfirming its full-year guidance.

Insurer Admiral was broadly unmoved at £20.03 after revealing it expected to report an impairment charge from following an investment in the company at a discount. However, it stressed that full-year performance would meet guidance.

Resources giant BHP Billiton rose 3% to £16.09 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 0.8% higher to £48.57 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.

Specialist information company Ascential rallied 7% to 403.2p on the acquisition of Flywheel Digital for $60m.


Marketing products business 4imprint gained 13.9% to £20.61 as it guided for revenue and profit to be towards the top end of current market forecasts.

North-America focused oil and gas company Rose Petroleum dipped 6.5% to 3.2p 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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