FTSE 100 Edges Higher As Focus Shifts To Earnings

(RTTNews) - U.K. stocks eked out modest gains on Wednesday as investors parsed through a deluge of earnings reports and prepared for a dovish message from the U.S. Federal Reserve. The benchmark FTSE 100 rose 17 points, or 0.27 percent, to 6,146 after rising 0.4 percent on Tuesday.

Retailer Next soared 6.4 percent after reporting a smaller-than-expected decline in quarterly sales.

Wizz Air Holdings climbed 4 percent. The budget airline conserved cash in the quarter to June 30 and ended the period with a €1.5bn cash pile.

Shares of Lancashire Holdings slumped 4.7 percent after the provider of insurance and reinsurance products reported a pre-tax loss of $23 million in the first half, compared to last year's profit of $40.5 million.

Lender Barclays tumbled 3.5 percent. The bank's pre-tax profits plunged 75 percent in the second quarter as it set aside more funds to protect for potential loan losses.

Medical equipment manufacturing company Smith & Nephew lost 3.4 percent after it swung to a pretax loss for the first half of the year.

In economic releases, U.K. shop prices declined at a slower pace in July, data from the British Retail Consortium showed. The shop price index dropped 1.3 percent year-on-year in July, following a 1.6 percent decrease in June.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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