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18 Jun 2019 | 08:59

UK stocks open flat as investors brace for key interest rate decisions

UK stocks opened flat on Tuesday as investors braced for key interest rate decisions due this week from both the Federal Reserve and the Bank of England.

At 0855, the FTSE 100 was up 0.31 points at 7.357.62.

Equipment rental group Ashtead gained 0.6%, as its annual profits jumped by a fifth on the back of strong demand in North America.

Pharmaceuticals company AstraZeneca also added 0.6%, at it announced that that it and partner Merck had gained approval from the European Commission for an ovarian cancer drug.

Utility services provider Telecom Plus added 2.4% on reporting a 4.9% rise in annual profit, buoyed by new customer wins.

Self-storage company Safestore fell 1.8% as it reported a 53% fall in first-half profit. The drop owed to a reduced gain on the value of its investment properties, which offset a rise in underlying earnings.

Video game developer Team17 rose 6.1% after it guided for revenue and operating earnings for the current year to be ahead of market expectations.

Specialty finance provider 1pm gained 2.4% after subsidiary Positive Cashflow Finance reported profits in excess of earn-out targets set at the time it was acquired in July 2017.

Component and system supplier Meggitt shed 0.6%, despite it securing a contract with Textron for the supply of fire protection systems.

Business software supplier K3 fell 0.4% on announcing that it expected its full-results would be more second-half weighted than usual.

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