(Adds futures, gold, news items)
* ROLLS ROYCE: Aerospace engineer Rolls-Royce RR.L said it had burned through 3 billion pounds ($3.8 billion) in its first half as the hours flown by its engines halved due to the COVID-19 pandemic. ROBERT WALTERS: Recruiter Robert Walters RWA.L reported a one-third fall in second-quarter net fee income as companies put hiring on ice during coronavirus-linked lockdowns. PAGEGROUP: Global recruiter PageGroup PAGE.L said it laid off another 326 employees in May and June, while reporting a 47.4% slump in second-quarter profit. PERSIMMON: British housebuilder Persimmon Plc's PSN.L first-half revenue plunged 32% as the coronavirus lockdowns halted construction and delayed deliveries. WORKSPACE: British shared-office space provider Workspace Group WKP.L said customer enquiries slumped by more than half in the first quarter. ECONOMY: Britain is facing a significant recession but it is too early to tell how quickly the economy will be able to recover, British finance minister Rishi Sunak said. OIL: Oil prices were little changed as concerns about renewed COVID-19 lockdowns in the United States outweighed signs of a recovery in U.S. gasoline demand. GOLD: Gold steadied above the key $1,800/oz level on Thursday, as worries over mounting COVID-19 cases offset hopes of a swift global economic recovery. The UK blue-chip index .FTSE slipped 0.6% on Wednesday, as another jump in global COVID-19 cases overshadowed hopes of an economic rebound. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on: LIVE/
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