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.
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.