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FTSE 100 Falls Ahead Of BoE Rate Decision

U.K. stocks fell on Thursday as investors exercised some caution after sharp gains in the previous session and looked ahead to the Bank of England's monetary policy decision for directional cues.

The central bank is expected to keep interest rates on hold, but market participants will keep an eye on the minutes from the meeting as well as updated forward guidance via the Quarterly Inflation Report.

The benchmark FTSE 100 was down 43 points or 0.59 percent at 7,236 in late opening deals after climbing 1.9 percent on Wednesday.

TalkTalk Telecom slumped 11 percent as it issued a profit warning and announced a temporary reduction in dividends in order to fund investment in growth.

Thomas Cook tumbled 4 percent after the travel giant warned of an unpredictable market.

Beazley Group shares jumped 5.5 percent. After reporting a 43 fall in pretax profit in 2017, the insurer said it saw potential for double-digit premium growth this year.

GSK shares rallied 2.7 percent. The pharmaceutical company expects to maintain its full-year dividend after reporting record revenues for 2017.

GKN rose over 1 percent after Prime Minister Theresa May said that the business department would look closely at a hostile bid for the engineering company. Melrose shares were marginally lower.

Fund manager Ashmore advanced 1.5 percent on saying it sees another strong year for emerging markets.

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