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European stocks ended higher on Wednesday amid some well-received earnings and as the dollar continued to dominate the single currency, with tech shares leading the gains.
London stocks rose on Wednesday as the pound was knocked lower by stalling inflation and politics, while updates from airline EasyJet and miner BHP Billiton lent a hand.
JPMorgan Cazenove cut its price target on neutral-rated Royal Mail to 537p from 561p on Wednesday following the company's first-quarter results a day earlier.
The chief executive officer of Mr Kipling and Bisto owner Premier Foods survived an attempt to oust him on Wednesday, as the company posted a rise in first-quarter total group sales and said expectations for the year remain unchanged.
Goldman Sachs reinstated coverage of Ascential, formerly EMAP, with a 'buy' rating and 560p price target, saying the new business mix will support double-digit organic growth to 2020.
US stocks were mostly a little higher in early trade on Wednesday, with Morgan Stanley boosted by solid second-quarter earnings, as investors digested the latest testimony from Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell and some disappointing data on housing starts.
US housing starts dropped to a nine-month low in June, according to data released by the Commerce Department on Tuesday.
Online fashion retailer Boohoo got a boost on Wednesday as Liberum bumped the stock up to 'buy' from 'hold' and lifted the price target to 240p from 220p on the back of an improvement in its key metrics.
US stocks looked set for a fairly muted open on Wednesday as earnings rolled in from banking behemoth Morgan Stanley and as investors eyed Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell's second day of testimony.
London stocks were maintaining gains by midday on Wednesday as stalling inflation piled more pressure on the pound, while updates from airline EasyJet and miner BHP Billiton lent a hand.
Agricultural and engineering group Carr's said on Wednesday that full-year results will be "slightly" ahead of its previous expectations as trading since its interim results in April has been better than expected.
Lamprell maintained its revenue guidance for the year on Wednesday and said it continues to expect no revenue growth until 2019.
British chocolatier Hotel Chocolat posted a jump in revenue on Wednesday and said its new range of chilled drinks have been a hit in the recent hot weather.
Investec downgraded Paddy Power Betfair to 'sell' from 'buy' on Tuesday, cutting the price target to 8,010p from 8,570p as it revisited the investment case and explored the US opportunity in detail.
London's FTSE 250 was up 0. 3% to 20,855. 46 in afternoon trade on Tuesday.
London's FTSE 100 was up 0. 1% to 7,608. 88 in afternoon trade on Tuesday as investors digested the latest round of UK jobs data.
Ventilation products supplier Volution has bought Danish rival Air Connection for DKK23. 8m (£2. 8m) in cash in a deal that will be funded from cash and banking facilities.
London stocks had nudged a touch lower by midday on Tuesday as investors digested the latest UK jobs data, although there were some bright spots on the corporate front in the form of updates from the likes of Royal Mail and TalkTalk.
European stocks were still in the red by midday on Tuesday amid a mixed batch of corporate news, as investors eyed a speech by Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell.
TalkTalk posted a jump in first-quarter revenue on Tuesday as customer numbers grew and the company said it was on course to add another 150,000 new customers this year.