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Earnings reports weigh down FTSE

A slew of earnings shocked the FTSE this morning causing the index to drop nearly 0.5% before starting to recover after some of the index heavyweights like Lloyds and Royal Dutch posted results contradicting expectations. 

While the US markets closed lower after a key Federal Reserve meeting Wednesday there was little by way of market signals coming from Asia with China and Japan closed for holidays. 

Paddy Power Betfair shares were sold off and lost 4.4% after the online betting firm reported a decent increase in group earnings but admitted that growth in Europe was stagnant. 

On the gaining side were Smith & Nephew, which guided on higher earnings this year and Royal Dutch which reported earnings slightly above expectations. 

Dollar bounces, pound higher on election day

The fallout from the Federal Reserve meeting yesterday, which concluded with the decision to keep rates steady for the foreseeable future, helped the greenback bounce higher overnight and then settle in a narrow range in the early hours in Europe. 

The pound is trading comfortably above $1.3 despite an overnight dip and is up 0.15% against the greenback. Sterling seems remarkably unperturbed as the country goes to the polls in a local election that will be the first chance for voters to formally express their views after months of Brexit related political guessing and second-guessing.
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