CORRECTED-AstraZeneca, Micro Focus lift FTSE 100; midcap ConvaTec sinks

  • Reuters
  • Stock Market News
CORRECTED-AstraZeneca, Micro Focus lift FTSE 100; midcap ConvaTec sinks
Credit: © Reuters.

(Corrects to removes share price milestone in paragraph 10)

* FTSE 100 up 0.4 pct

* FTSE 250 down 0.1 pct

* Micro Focus top blue-chip gainer after results

* AstraZeneca rises on Q4 sales beat, strong forecast

* ConvaTec slumps on mid-caps

Feb 14 (Reuters) - Britain's main index on Thursday held onto a more than four-month high hit in the last session, aided by earnings-driven gains in drugmaker AstraZeneca and software firm Micro Focus and boosted by forecast-beating trade data from China.

The FTSE 100 .FTSE rose 0.4 percent by 0846 GMT, while the FTSE 250 .FTMC was down 0.1 percent as medical device maker ConvaTec tanked after "disappointing results".

AstraZeneca AZN.L rose 3.8 percent on track for its best day since early November after its fourth-quarter product sales beat expectations and it forecast sales growth for 2019. Focus MCRO.L jumped 11.4 percent, the biggest blue-chip gainer, after its annual pro-forma revenue fell less-than-expected. Prime Minister Theresa May returns to parliament on Thursday to seek renewed backing for her plan to renegotiate her Brexit deal with Brussels, just weeks before the March 29 leave date and amid warnings over the risk of a disorderly exit. were also digesting data showing China's exports unexpectedly grew while imports fell much less than expected in January. A report that U.S. President Donald Trump was considering an extension of the March 1 deadline for higher tariffs on Chinese imports also helped the mood. the main bourse was Coca Cola HBC CCH.L which slipped 7 percent after it warned economic growth would slow in many of its markets this year. Shares were on track for their worst day in more than three-and-a-half years.

The mid-caps saw steep, news-related moves as well.

Medical device maker ConvaTec CTEC.L tanked nearly 20 percent as it reported lower annual operating profit. It launched a turnaround programme to boost revenue and cut costs in response to the bleak results. & Benny's owner Restaurant Group RTN.L skidded 11 percent after the company said its chief executive officer was stepping down due to "extenuating personal circumstances". Moneysupermarket.com MONY.L added 6.2 percent after it said it was confident of delivering market expectations for the year and also announced a chairman transition.

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