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FTSE 100 Marginally Higher Amid Mixed Earnings

U.K. shares were marginally higher on Thursday as the pound weakened against the dollar and euro, helping offset weak earnings updates from the likes of Tesco and Marks & Spencer Group.

The benchmark FTSE 100 was little changed with a positive bias in late opening deals after rising 0.2 percent in the previous session.

Drug maker AstraZeneca edged up 0.2 percent after receiving EU approval for its first respiratory biologic medicine.

Mining giant Rio Tinto gained over 1 percent after receiving a binding offer from Liberty House for its Aluminium Dunkerque smelter in northern France.

Recruitment firm Hays climbed almost 3 percent on posting double-digit growth in Q2 net fees.

Tesco shares tumbled 3.5 percent after Christmas trading results in its core U.K. business fell short of market expectations.

Similarly, Marks and Spencer Group lost 4.5 percent after reporting a 2.8 percent fall in like-for-like sales for its struggling clothing and home divisions over the Christmas quarter.

Weir Group fell 2.5 percent. The engineering firm said that changes in U.S. taxes will result in a one-off non-cash tax credit for 2017.

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