StockMarketWire.com - UK stocks are falling on Thursday as the market digested the Wednesday's Federal Reserve July meeting minutes, which provided little clarity for future direction.

At 08:58, the benchmark FTSE 100 was 0.40%, or 28.72 points, lower at 7,175.25.

Antofagasta slipped 0.66% to 813.80p even as it said core earnings jumped in the first half of the year amid higher copper sales volumes, though falling copper prices kept a lid on growth. The miner also said the outlook on the copper market remained uncertain amid the ongoing US-China trade war.

Rank Group, which operates Mecca Bingo and Grosvenor Casinos, edged 0.02% higher to 152.23p after earlier posting a slump in full-year profits as a tough first half offset gains in the second half of the year.

AstraZeneca added 0.78% to 7,471p after it said its drug to treat anaemia in non-dialysis-dependent patients suffering from chronic kidney disease had received marketing authorisation in China. It also said it had agreed to buy a US Food and Drug Administration priority review voucher for $95m in cash from a subsidiary of Swedish Orphan Biovitrum.

ViiV Healthcare, a GlaxoSmithKline-Pfizer joint venture, said its injectable HIV treatment had met its primary goal in a clinical trial, reducing the number of treatments needed every year, compared to an oral treatment. The Glaxo share price slipped 0.15% to 1,682.42p.

Premier Oil jumped 5.83% to 76.47p after it reported an increase in first-half earnings on the back of higher production and left its full-year output guidance unchanged.

South32 slumped 5.86% to 147.24p after it posted a fall in full-year earnings as lower aluminium and thermal coal prices more than offset an increase in production volumes and cost-reduction initiatives.

CRH lost 0.30% to 2,662p after it said it would continue its share buyback programme after the building materials group saw profits jump in the first half of the year, led by good performance in its heritage business and strong contributions from recent acquisitions.

Pantheon International added 0.21% to 2,294.89p after it reported a 3.4% monthly increase in net asset value per share to 2,487,6p as at 31 July 2019 as valuation gains, investment income and foreign exchange movement more than offset expenses and taxes during the period.

Animal genetics company Genus slipped 0.077% to 2,596p after it said Stephen Wilson, currently group finance director, had been appointed as chief executive with effect from the close of business on 13 September 2019.

Infrastructure investor John Laing Group dropped 8.46% to 348.60p as it reported an uptick in half-yearly net asset value despite a slump in half-yearly profits as a number of challenges with its renewable energy assets in Australia and Europe hurt performance.

Capital Drilling jumped 4.86% to 58.20p after it reported a slight uptick in core earnings as a decline in average revenue per operating rig kept a lid on performance.

Foresight Solar lost 0.89% to 121.90p after it reported a fall in net assets in the first half of the year driven by a downward revision of UK power price forecasts.

Aviation, energy and civil engineering group Stobart Group added 0.59% to 111.46p after it said it had entered into a five-year partnership with low-cost airline Wizz Air with three new routes set to operate from London Southend Airport, which it owns.

Anglo Asian Mining climbed 7.29% to 146.45p after it confirmed media speculation that it had been in talks with the Government of Azerbaijan concerning a possible transaction of the company's subsidiary R.V. Investment Group Services. The company stressed, however, there was no certainty that the talks would lead to a deal.

Altus Strategies added 4.21% to 4.95p after it said it had signed a non-binding term sheet with Glomin Services for a joint venture on the company's Lakanfla and Tabakorole gold projects located in western and southern Mali respectively.

Goodwin grew 4.96% to 3,600p after it reported a rise in profits and said a significant rise in sales orders within its mechanical engineering division had bolstered its order book to a record level.

Story provided by StockMarketWire.com