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28 Feb 2019 | 09:30

UK stocks fall on ongoing Brexit, Sino-US trade concerns

UK stocks are falling on Thursday as Brexit fears and China-US trade talk concerns continue to weigh on sentiment.

At 08:58, the benchmark FTSE 100 was down 0.83%, or 58.70 points, at 7,048.50.

Housebuilder Bovis Homes edged 0.23% higher as it hiked its dividend Thursday after generating record pre-tax profits on higher margins and completions.

British American Tobacco fell 2.54% despite reporting Thursday that operating profits rose sharply after sales topped its expectations as total volumes increased.

Rolls-Royce slipped 3.3% after it said on Thursday it had withdrawn from the engine competition to power Boeing's new mid-size airplane because it was not confident it could commit to the timetable as it reported full-year underlying operating profit of £616m. This was up from £306m in 2017.

Estate agency group Foxtons lost 1.98% after it abandoned its dividend after swinging to a loss Thursday as lettings performance was offset by ongoing decline in house prices across in London amid Brexit uncertainty. The company warned the challenging trading conditions were expected to continue in the current year.

Theme park operator Merlin Entertainments climbed 2.47% after it reported a 6.2% increase in underlying earnings for 2018 as it said trading at this "seasonally quiet" point in the year had been in line with expectations.

Gocompare slid 6.03% as it reported Thursday a 10% increase in pre-tax profits as revenue growth was hampered by decline in marketing spend, with the price comparison company saying performance for the year would be weighted toward the second half.

British Airways-owner International Consolidated Airline Group added 1.93% as it said Thursday it would deliver a special dividend as profits were boosted by an uptick in passenger revenue despite 'significant challenges.'

Insurer RSA lost 3.53% after it said its full-year 2018 operating profits fell due to adverse weather costs and problems in its commercial insurance business, as it also missed tangible equity return targets.

Aston Martin slumped 12.54% as it swung to a loss Thursday as IPO costs weighed down performance, but revenues accelerated by a quarter driven by strong sales growth in China and the Americas. Story provided by
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