The Bank of England policymakers kept the record-low interest rate unchanged, sticking to the forward guidance, and decided to refrain from any action that risks recovery. The nine-member rate-setting committee headed by Governor Mark Carney retained the interest rate at a historic low 0.50 percent and the quantitative easing programme unchanged at GBP 375 billion.
Aviva Plc's shares climbed around 10 percent in London trading after the British life and health insurer reported a surge in fiscal 2013 pre-tax profit. The result mainly reflects the absence of 2.9 billion pounds loss related to the write-down of Aviva USA unit in the prior year. Premiums declined from last year. The company also announced higher final dividend.
Balfour Beatty Plc Thursday reported a sharp fall in full-year 2013 pre-tax profit and posted a loss after tax, citing challenging economic conditions in several markets and operational issues in the UK construction business. Looking ahead, the infrastructure services company expects to make modest progress in 2014.
Temporary power services provider Aggreko Plc. Thursday reported lower profit for the full year, amid lower revenues from Military and Japan as well as the absence of last year's Olympics revenues. However, the company decided to return 200 million pounds to shareholders as it reduced debt. The stock is gaining over 5 percent on the London Stock Exchange.
The Bank of England's monetary policy meeting is likely to be a 'non-event', with policymakers expected to pledge a low interest rate regime and refrain from any action that risks recovery. The nine-member rate-setting committee is expected to retain the interest rate at a historic low 0.50 percent and its quantitative easing programme unchanged at GBP 375 billion.