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London-listed shares retreated on Thursday as earnings updates from firms including Rolls-Royce underlined the extent of the corporate damage from the COVID-19 pandemic ahead of the annual Jackson Hole central bankers' conference later in the day.
The blue-chip FTSE 100 and the mid-cap FTSE 250 fell 0.2% each, with banks, insurers and real estate stocks leading the declines.
Rolls-Royce tumbled 5.9% after sinking to a first-half underlying loss before tax of 3.2 billion pounds ($4.2 billion). The wider aero and defence index lost 1.4%.
Hays Plc, one of the world's biggest recruitment agencies, rose 0.9% even as it posted a 12% fall in annual net fees and saying it expected to cut more jobs this quarter.
Investors are now awaiting an address by U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell to kick off the virtual Jackson Hole Symposium later on Thursday. Bank of England chief Andrew Bailey is scheduled to speak at the meeting on Friday.
The blue-chip FTSE 100 was up 1.3%, with fewer than 10 stocks in the red in early trading, while the mid-cap FTSE 250 added 1.0%, led by the auto, personal goods and mining sectors.
London-listed stocks snapped two straight sessions of gains on Tuesday as fears of another wave of the COVID-19 pandemic overshadowed signs of a tentative economic recovery in May.
The miner fell 4.6% as it also booked a $3.2 billion impairment charge, driving the FTSE 100 down 1.2%.
Tower A, the Elite building of Bloom Towers, consists of 255 premium residential units ranging from one-bedroom to three- bedroom apartments with sizes from 700 to 1,600 sqft available to purchase with prices starting from Dhs750,000, offering homeowners and investors great opportunities to secure exceptional long-term value and a guaranteed 8% return on investment for three years.
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