(Adds news items, futures)
* NEXT: Next NXT.L raised its 2021-22 profit forecast for the second time in two months as it reported better than expected first quarter trading. MELROSE: Melrose Industries MRON.L warned its growth would be hit by a shortage of semiconductors in the global automotive supply chain. BARRATT DEVELOPMENTS: Barratt Developments Plc BDEV.L said it expected to increase wholly-owned completions to between 16,000 and 16,250 homes this year, ahead of its previous estimates. ASTON MARTIN: Aston Martin AML.L posted a smaller first quarter loss in 2021 of 42.2 million pounds and said it continued to take steps towards profitability. SUPERDRY: Superdry SDRY.L said it returned to growth in its fourth quarter, helped by online and wholesale. REACH: Reach Plc RCH.L said its annual operating profit would come in above market expectations after it reported strong revenue growth from its digital business for the first four months of the year. ALPHAWAVE IP GROUP: Alphawave IPO Group has set a price range for its planned London listing of 375 pence to 430 pence per share, putting it on course for a valuation of up to 3.2 billion pounds, bookrunner JPMorgan (NYSE: JPM ) said. CONSTRUCTION: Britain's construction sector is seeing the biggest increase in its workload in five years, led by a strong demand for housing and the resumption of other projects as the coronavirus pandemic eases, a quarterly survey showed. GOLD: Gold prices edged higher as a dip in U.S. treasury yields offset pressure from a stronger dollar. OIL: Oil prices rose as crude stockpiles in the United States fell more sharply than expected, as refining output rose and exports surged. The UK blue-chip index .FTSE closed 1.8% higher on Wednesday, supported by gains in heavyweight mining and banking stocks on recovery optimism. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on: LIVE/
TODAY'S UK PAPERS
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