- UK stocks are falling on Thursday amid bearish sentiment from the US and Asia overnight and ahead of the European Central Bank's rate decision later in the session.

At 08:58, the benchmark FTSE 100 was down 0.42%, or 30.42 points, at 7,165.58.

Bakery chain Greggs edged 0.22% higher as it said Thursday it expects to declare a special dividend in July after reporting annual profits in line with guidance as performance improved in the second half following a weather-related lull in the first half.

National Grid added 0.89% after it said on Thursday it had entered into an agreement to acquire US clean energy developer Geronimo Energy for $100m, expanding its presence in US renewables.

Aviva slipped 1.47% as it reported Thursday a rise in profits led by growth in its life business, though weakness in its fund management businesses capped gains.

Admiral fell 5.43% after it said Thursday profits rose by nearly a fifth supported even as its UK motor business slowed in the second half in the face of rising claims costs.

Asset management company Schroders lost 2.57% as it reported a slump in 2018 pre-tax profit on Thursday amid a 6% drop in its assets under management, but said it remained confident in its future growth.

Defence and aerospace group Cobham dropped 2.21% as it said it planned to reinstate a progressive dividend despite reporting a fall in profits owing to a strong pound and divestment.

Bucking the trend, turnaround specialist Melrose Industries climbed 3.67% as it saw its full-year adjusted pre-tax profit almost triple thanks to its acquisition of British engineering group GKN last year.

North Sea producer Premier Oil jumped 5.28% as it returned to profit in 2018, with a net profit of $133.4m compared to a net loss of $235.8m a year earlier as it achieved higher production and prices for its oil.

Informa added 2.42% after it reported Thursday annual profits grew helped by an increase in revenues amid a boost from acquisitions.

Inmarsat rose 2.83% as it reported Thursday annual profits fell by more than a fifth as a rise in satellite revenues were weighed down by a jump in costs.

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