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FTSE firms on flurry of well-received blue-chip news

FTSE indices were moderately firmer as a plethora of blue-chip news hit the wires, with several of these stocks dominating the top-10 risers on the FTSE 100. US Federal Reserve is not hiking rates immediately, but remains on track to do so this year. Pundits are picking September.

Centrica adjusted operating profits fall

British Gas parent Centrica's group adjusted operating profit fell 3% in the six months to the end of June, with higher profit from customer-facing businesses more than offset by lower profit from upstream gas and power businesses.

Press Roundup

A brief summary of Thursday's main business headlines... Extensive coverage of UK banks failing to learn from the Libor scandal, Mexico delaying deepwater oil auction, GSK facing new bribery allegations, Centrica appointing new finance chief, Barclays making further provision for scandals and much more...

Chime's talks

Chime Communications has noted speculation over the possibility of an offer being made for the company and confirmed that it is in advanced discussions with Providence Equity Partners LLC and WPP Plc regarding a potential cash offer at 365p per share, plus an interim dividend for the current year of 2.53p.

John Swan offer

John Swan & Sons has agreed a recommended cash acquisition by H&H Group. Under the deal, Swan shareholders wold receive £13.5 for each share. The deal values it at about £8.2m.