StockMarketWire.com - UK stocks are edging lower on Thursday as tensions between the EU and Italy over the latter's budget deficit weighed on sentiment.

At 08:58, the benchmark FTSE 100 index was down 0.82%, or 57.82 points at 6,992.41.

Centrica slid 8.23% on Thursday as it maintained its full-year guidance despite revealing a significant fall in customer accounts and admitting that weaker than planned volumes from its E&P and Nuclear activities would have a "negative" impact on full-year performance.

Sports betting group GVC edged 0.21% lower after saying it had acquired Neds International for up to AUS$95m.

Restaurant operator Mitchells & Butlers slipped 1.09% as it reported full-year adjusted operating profits of £303m, down 1.6% year on year, as higher second-half profits were unable to compensate for the negative impact of snow in the first half.

Water and waste utility Severn Trent fell 2.90% despite posting an over 4% increase in half-year underlying profit on Thursday and announcing it had now fully allocated the £100m totex reinvestment announced in 2017.

Outsourcing company Mitie Group lost 1.47% as it reported a 4.2% drop in adjusted operating profit on Thursday and said it expected to see "modest" top-line growth for the full year.

Mothercare dropped 8.9% after posting a pre-tax loss of £6.2m on Thursday and warning that trading conditions would remain volatile for the remainder of its financial year.

Caledonia Investments slipped 0.48% despite saying on Thursday that first-half net asset growth was underpinned by 'strong' performance across all of its investments.

Wine merchant Majestic Wine dropped 11.83% after announcing it would import an extra £5-8m worth of stock to ensure it can meet deliveries post-Brexit. It also reported a pre-tax loss amid a "tough" retail market and a gloomy outlook.

Bucking the wider trend, Equiniti Group rose 3.81% as it said it expected performance to be at the upper range of market expectations despite continuing revenue tailwinds.

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