(Adds company news items, futures)
FIRSTGROUP: Train and bus operator FirstGroup FGP.L said on Thursday it would sell U.S. coach service Greyhound and look to separate off its UK First Bus operations as it seeks to head off pressure from major investors for returns.
JOHNSON MATTHEY: Chemicals group Johnson Matthey JMAT.L on Thursday reported a 48% jump in full-year earnings, bolstered by strength in its unit that makes catalytic converters and other pollution filters for both car and trucks.
PENNON GROUP: Pennon Group PNN.L reported an 8.3% jump in full-year earnings on Thursday, as strong performance by its waste recycling unit helped the UK water utility and waste management company offset higher costs at its South West Water business.
GOLD: Gold prices inched down on Thursday as bonds rallied and the dollar hovered near a two-year high, negating the support from an increasingly bitter Sino-U.S. trade dispute that rekindled doubts about global economic growth.
OIL: Oil prices rose on Thursday after an industry report showed a decline in U.S. crude inventories that exceeded analyst expectations.
EX-DIVS: Marks and Spencer MKS.L , National Grid NG.L , Sage Group SGE.L and Whitbread WTB.L will trade without entitlement to their latest dividend pay-out on Thursday, trimming 5.38 points off the FTSE 100 according to Reuters calculations The UK blue chip index gave up 1.2% wobbled lower on Wednesday as signs of an escalation in the China-U.S. trade conflict, coupled with growing worries of a no-deal Brexit, hurt demand for risk.
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