The Bank of England left its key policy rates unchanged on Thursday, while Chancellor of Exchequer George Osborne said in his autumn statement that the economy is better placed than they had expected early this year. In his 2013 Autumn Statement, Osborne said Britain's economic plan is working and the hard work of the British people is paying off.
German drugmaker Merck KGaA Thursday said it has offered to acquire AZ Electronic Materials for 403.5 pence per share, valuing the company at around 1.6 billion pounds or $2.62 billion. AZ shares are surging more than 52 percent in initial trade.
UK-based low-cost airline easyJet Plc Thursday reported growth in passenger numbers for the month of November, while load factor marginally declined from the same month last year.
Luxury brand Mulberry Group Plc. (MUL.L) Thursday reported a lower profit for the first half, hit by higher costs, while revenue improved 2 percent. Further, the firm said that during the nine weeks to November 30, total retail sales were up 3 percent.
The European Commission Wednesday said it fined 8 banks, including Germany's Deutsche Bank AG, French lender Societe Generale SA and Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc, a total of 1.71 billion euros for participating in illegal cartels in the interest rate derivatives markets covering the European Economic Area or EEA.
Asia-focused lender Standard Chartered Plc Wednesday announced that it expects income for full year 2013 to be broadly flat on 2012, as difficult market conditions had a significant impact on business performance in the second half, particularly in Financial Markets. The shares are currently down about 6 percent on the London Stock Exchange.
British supermarket chain Tesco Plc Wednesday reported a decline in third-quarter Group sales as well as like-for-like sales, but actual sales, excluding petrol, edged up from the prior year. Decrease in UK like-for-like sales reflected a weaker grocery market.