(Adds futures, news items)
* JUST GROUP: Insurer Just Group JUSTJ.L posted higher first-half earnings as strong in-force profit cushioned a slump in new business profit. NATIONAL EXPRESS: Bus company National Express NEX.L reported a pre-tax loss for the first half and said travel activity remained at "much suppressed levels". TUI: TUI TUIT.L , the world's largest tourism company, sunk to a 1.1 billion euro loss in its third quarter as the COVID-19 pandemic stopped holidays. TOPPS TILES: Tile retailer Topps Tiles TPT.L said trading had been strong in recent weeks and forecast "modest" pretax profit for its 2019-20 year. GVC: Ladbrokes (LON: LCL ) owner GVC GVC.L said it would not pay an interim dividend after it reported lower core profit for the first half of 2020. ASTRAZENECA: Argentina and Mexico will produce the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine for most of Latin America, Argentine President Alberto Fernandez said on Wednesday. AIRLINES: Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV ) Co LUV.N , Ryanair Holdings Plc RYA.I and easyJet Plc EZJ.L are the only three airlines whose bonds are still rated investment grade, S&P Global Ratings said. OIL: Crude oil prices slipped after OPEC said it expected demand for fuels to fall more than expected. GOLD: Gold climbed 1% on a softer dollar, consolidating further above the key $1,900 level, with an ultra-low interest rate environment and worries over global economic fallout from mounting COVID-19 cases. EX-DIVS: Ashtead Group AHT.L , Aviva AV.L , Astrazeneca AZN.L , BP BP.L , Diageo DGE.L , Glaxosmithkline GSK.L , Legal&General LGEN.L , Phoenix Group PHNX.L , Pearson PSON.L , Royal Dutch Shell RDSa.L RDSb.L , Segro SGRO.L and Smurfit Kappa SKG.L will trade without entitlement to its latest dividend pay-out on Thursday, trimming 22.4 points off the FTSE 100, according to Reuters calculations. The UK blue-chip index .FTSE jumped 2% on Wednesday as investors focused on signs of a recovery in economic output in June, shrugging off a record 20.4% plunge in the second quarter, the largest contraction reported by any major economy. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on: LIVE/
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