Equities fell yesterday, hampered by housebuilders after the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) launched an investigation into eight firms for potentially sharing sensitive information. Miners also underperformed due to lower metal prices. The FTSE 100 ended the session 0.3% lower.

Investors are particularly focused on the upcoming inflation data from the US and the Eurozone, which could influence global monetary policy decisions.

Smith&Nephew's shares climbed 3.9% as the medical equipment maker forecasted an improvement in profit margin for the year after exceeding 2023 earnings estimates.

Croda International, a British chemicals supplier, predicted lower profits for 2024 due to weak volumes in its Crop Protection and Industrial Specialties units and higher costs. The company expects an adjusted pre-tax profit between £260 million and £300 million, down from £308.8 million in 2023.

In other financial news, Barclays has lowered its price target for Glencore from 465 to 435 pence, maintaining an "Equal Weight" rating. The bank noted that while Glencore's results focus on expected cash flow, delays in project ramp-ups and planned acquisitions could impact shareholder returns for 2024 and 2025.

Lastly, British asset manager Abrdn reported a slight dip in full-year operating profit for 2023 as it continues to implement cost-cutting measures to improve performance. The company announced a full-year dividend of 14.6 pence per share, unchanged from the previous year, and confirmed assets under management of £494.9 billion at year-end.

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