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ukmanuf-050115.jpg British manufacturing activity unexpectedly eased sharply to a seven-month low in April amid weaker demand, while central bank data showed that consumer credit grew strongly, suggesting that the fragile economic recovery was largely being led by consumption.

lloyds-050115.jpg British lender Lloyds Banking Group Plc. (LYG, LLOY.L) Friday reported a lower pre-tax profit for the first quarter, hit by a charge related to the sale of its stake in TSB Banking Group Plc (TSB.L). Underlying earnings improved, supported by continued improvement in financial strength. The stock added 3 percent in early trade.

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