(Adds futures, news items)
* PROVIDENT FINANCIAL: Sub-prime lender Provident Financial PFG.L reported a 6% growth in the number of new and returning customers at its home credit unit in the third quarter, but said overall customer numbers were still falling. BOVIS HOMES: Bovis Homes Group Plc BVS.L said it would buy the residential divisions of British builder Galliford Try GFRD.L for 1.08 billion pounds ($1.39 billion). INCHCAPE: British car dealership Inchcape INCH.L reported a rise in third-quarter group revenue helped by its distribution business and reiterated its full-year profit expectations. ROLLS-ROYCE: British aerospace engineer Rolls-Royce RR.L said its full-year operating profit and free-cash flow would come in at the lower end of guidance as it works to restore confidence in its Trent 1000 engine. G4S (CSE: G4S ): British security contractor GFS.L reported a 4.3% rise in third-quarter organic revenue, and said it was evaluating unsolicited third-party proposals for its cash solutions business. PURPLEBRICKS: Purplebricks PURP.L said home sales volumes in the UK have fallen, most notably in the South East, and that it expects overall revenue in the first half to be broadly flat. ASTON MARTIN: Luxury British carmaker Aston Martin AML.L swung to a third-quarter pre-tax loss of 13.5 million pounds ($17 million), saying its wholesale volumes would be lower than previously guided. SAINSBURY'S: British supermarket group Sainsbury's SBRY.L reported a 15% fall in first-half profit, blaming the combined impact of the phasing of cost savings, higher marketing costs and tough weather comparatives with last year which impacted on sales. CO-OP BANK: Losses at Britain's Co-operative Bank increased in the third quarter, as it faced ongoing competitive pressure in the mortgage market and a 60 million pound ($77.03 million) charge for mis-selling loan insurance. RSA: RSA's RSA.L net written premiums were flat for the year to date but underwriting profit rose strongly the insurer said, after it cut back on under-performing business. BHP: BHP Group's BHP.AX BHPB.L Australian shareholders voted against a resolution to axe the global miner's membership of industry groups that advocate for coal, backing the board's call and echoing the stance taken by BHP investors in London, a preliminary tally showed. BT/VODAFONE: Britain's Virgin Media is ditching BT's BT.L mobile network for rival Vodafone VOD.L from late 2021 in a five-year deal that will allow it to launch new services such as 5G to its more than 3 million customers. BP: BP BP.L is investing 10 million euros ($11.08 million) in Finnish transportation app Whim as the oil and gas company seeks to expand its role in a future low-carbon world. SSE: SSE Renewables SSE.L has been given consent by the Scottish government to extend its Gordonbush onshore wind farm in Sutherland, it said on Wednesday. BOE RATES: Britain's central bank looks set to sit out the global shift towards lower interest rates on Thursday, though investors will watch for any policymaker who might break ranks and vote to give the country's slowing economy more help. GOLD: Gold prices were little changed on Thursday as investors maintained a cautious stance amid signs of a delay in Washington and Beijing sealing a long-awaited interim trade deal. OIL: Oil prices trod water on Thursday after losses in the previous session, as traders were cautious amid concerns over a potential delay in sealing a long-awaited interim U.S.-China trade deal and a huge increase of U.S. crude stockpiles. EX-DIVS: BP BP.L and Whitbread WTB.L will trade without entitlement to its latest dividend pay-out on Thursday, trimming 6.5 points off the FTSE 100 according to Reuters calculations. The UK blue-chip index closed up 0.1% on Wednesday, as investors waited for news on U.S.-China trade talks before making further bets. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on: LIVE/
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