Visits to UK shops fell in November as bad weather kept shoppers away and Black Friday failed to boost footfall, a survey showed.
The market spotlight at the end of the week was expected to be squarely on the US labour market and the latest monthly jobs report.
European shares fell back again on Thursday amid worries about the impact that Covid-19 restrictions across the Continent might have and with big declines on Wall Street the night before weighing on investor sentiment.
London stocks closed below the waterline on Thursday, as concerns about the new Omicron Covid variant and potential rate hikes weighed on investors’ minds.
The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies surprised some oil traders with their decision to go ahead with their previously planned output hike in January - despite the appearance of Omicron, the new strain of Covid-19.
Citi downgraded its stance on Drax on Thursday to 'neutral' from 'buy' as it said the stock's risk/reward scenario was now less attractive following its 50% share price rise over the last six months.
Burberry Group revealed on Thursday that new non-executive director Danuta Gray had acquired 3,000 ordinary shares in the FTSE 100-listed luxury fashion house.
Super- and ultra-fast broadband service provider Bigblu Broadband said in a trading update on Thursday that it delivered growth across all four of its key metrics in the year ended 30 November, being its customer base, revenue, EBITDA and free cash flow.
London’s FTSE 250 was 1% lower at 22,694. 61 in afternoon trade on Thursday.
Royalty capital provider Duke Royalty announced on Thursday that it has completed the follow-on investment of £4. 2m into its existing royalty partner Bakhchysarai Ireland (BIL).
Wall Street stocks were trading higher early on Thursday after America's first omicron case fuelled yet another sell-off in the previous session.
London’s FTSE 100 was down 0. 4% at 7,138. 52 in afternoon trade on Thursday.
Molten metal flow engineer Vesuvius has agreed to buy US-based Universal Refractories, a specialty refractory producer, in a $57. 1m deal.
Live Company Group updated the market on progress with its minority investment in Start Art Global (StART) on Thursday, confirming that the platform formally went live in October.
Morocco-focussed potash developer Emmerson updated the market on progress at the Khemisset project on Thursday, as it moved into the pre-construction phase of development.
Clinigen shares surged on Thursday after the company confirmed it has received a non-binding indicative proposal from investment firm Triton about a possible offer.
Media and technology platform provider Seeen said on Thursday that it had delivered a strong performance so far in 2021, with the group securing two major contract wins.
US jobless claims rebounded a little following a steep drop during the previous week that saw them fell to a level not seen since November 1969.
On current evidence, the Omicron variant of Covid-19 did not yet appear to be any deadlier than previous ones, Australian health officials said.
President Energy updated the market on its oil and gas operations in Argentina and Louisiana on Thursday, reporting that the drilling of well DP-2001 at Salta in Argentina reached the target depth safely, with electric logging concluded.
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