Updates from Vodafone and AstraZeneca

The FTSE 100 finished 62 points higher at 6,634.3 yesterday. London Stock Exchange Group was the day's biggest climber, up +7.43% at 1590p; Easyjet also lifted sharply, up +4.15% to 1406p, while Sage Group fell hardest, down -1.38% at 357.10p.

The Dow Jones finished Thursday 0.50% ahead, up 78 points, at 15,548.

We start with an interim from Vodafone for the quarter up to 30 June. The most significant news is a -3.5% cut in organic service revenues, part-thanks to tough competition in Northern and Central Europe - UK revenues in the UK fell -4.5%.

This was "driven by continued intense price competition and macroeconomic weakness, which impacted on consumer confidence and, in turn, led to lower out-of-bundle usage". Southern Europe service revenue including Italy fell -14.4%.

Spanish revenues dipped -10.6%. However better service revenue growth in emerging markets: Turkey is up +15.5%, India +13.8% and Vodacom +3.2%. The company reiterated its full-year outlook.

Next, AstraZeneca claims it has completed its acquisition of Omthera Pharmaceuticals, a specialty pharmaceutical company based in Princeton, New Jersey, focused on the development and commercialisation of therapies for abnormal levels of lipids in the blood.

AstraZeneca acquired all outstanding shares of common stock of Omthera for $12.70 per share, or approximately $323 million. The company claims it strengthens AstraZeneca's late-stage cardiovascular disease pipeline.

Meanwhile AstraZeneca chief financial officer, Simon Lowth, is to quit the company for BG Group - on a salary of around £725,000 - after BG reports its third-quarter numbers later in the year.

Finally, an interim from business support services group DCC. The Group claims a strong start for its financial year with overall trading "well ahead" of the year before and budget.

"The seasonal nature of trading in DCC Energy and DCC SerCom, the quarter to 30 June has, in recent years, represented less than 15% of DCC's full year operating profit. Nonetheless...DCC has traded well ahead of its expectations in the first quarter."

DCC Healthcare recently acquired Leonhard Lang UK Limited for £11m. This business is focused on the sales, marketing and distribution of medical consumables to hospitals and ambulance services."