By William Schomberg and David Milliken LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's public finances showed a much bigger than expected deficit in September, a setback for Chancellor Philip Hammond as he prepares to deliver the country's first budget plans since the Brexit vote. Investors are already nervous about the prospect of an acrimonious British departure from the European Union, and Friday's figures may limit Hammond's ability to cushion the blow of the referendum result via higher spending or tax cuts. Britain ran a budget shortfall of 10.6 billion pounds last month, 14.5 percent higher than the deficit in the same month last year, the Office for National Statistics said.
General Electric Co beat analyst profit forecasts in the third quarter, but revenue growth remained sluggish, prompting the company to lower its full-year revenue growth target and narrow its profit forecast on Friday and sending shares lower. The industrial giant's adjusted profit jumped 10 percent to 32 cents a share, beating the 30 cents that analysts had estimated on average, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Analysts had been looking for GE to report stronger revenue growth after a weak first half, but that was stymied by a 25-percent slump in oil and gas revenue in the quarter.