Unilever, Lloyds help FTSE edge higher
LONDON Britain's top share index edged up on Wednesday as Lloyds reported its highest annual profit in a decade and Unilever promised a far-reaching review.
WASHINGTON The U.S. House of Representatives on Friday passed a budget plan for the next fiscal year that would cut federal spending by around $6 trillion (3.67 trillion pounds) over a decade and includes controversial long-term cuts to healthcare programs for the elderly and poor.
By a vote of 235-193, the Republican-controlled House passed the budget for fiscal 2012, which starts on October 1. It has been attacked by President Barack Obama and Democrats in Congress for cutting social programs while also reducing the tax burden for high-income earners.
The Senate is expected to unveil a much different budget plan in coming weeks.
(Reporting by Richard Cowan; Editing by Will Dunham)
NEW YORK Oil prices fell 1.5 percent on Wednesday on expectations of another surge in U.S. inventories, retreating from multi-week highs hit in the previous session after OPEC signalled optimism over its deal with other producers to curb output.
LONDON Lloyds Banking Group signalled a complete recovery from the financial crisis on Wednesday with its highest full-year profit in a decade, boosting the British government's ambition to return it to full private ownership in the next few months.