UPDATE 2-FTSE 100 squeezes out gains; ConvaTec drags midcaps

  • Reuters
  • Stock Market News
UPDATE 2-FTSE 100 squeezes out gains; ConvaTec drags midcaps
Credit: © Reuters.

* FTSE 100 up 0.1 pct

* FTSE 250 down 0.4 pct

* Micro Focus top blue-chip gainer after results

* AstraZeneca rises on Q4 sales beat, strong forecast

* ConvaTec slumps on mid-caps (Adds company news items, updates to closing prices)

By Shashwat Awasthi and Muvija M

Feb 14 (Reuters) - Britain's main stock index clung on to last session's advance, aided by earnings-driven gains in AstraZeneca and Micro Focus, while medical device maker ConvaTec single-handedly contributed to nearly one-third of the midcap index's dip.

The FTSE 100 .FTSE added 0.1 percent, outperforming its U.S. and European peers, though the FTSE 250 .FTMC was down 0.4 percent as ConvaTec tanked after reporting what its CEO called "disappointing results".

Investors also kept an eye on the ongoing parliamentary turmoil over Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit plan. fact that there will now be another meaningful vote on Feb. 27 has taken the pressure off today's vote ... but Theresa May's 'my deal or no deal' doesn't look like it will make it into next month," London Capital Group analyst Jasper Lawler said.

Blue chips got their biggest boost from drugmaker AstraZeneca, AZN.L which surged 7.5 percent - its biggest intra-day gain in nearly two years - after its fourth-quarter sales beat expectations and it forecast sales growth for 2019. GlaxoSmithKline GSK.L and Hikma HIK.L also rose. company Micro Focus MCRO.L led the blue chips, as its shares jumped 12.3 percent on its best day in nearly four and a half years after it reported annual pro-forma revenue fell less than expected. were also digesting data showing China's exports unexpectedly increased while imports fell less than expected in January. A report that U.S. President Donald Trump might extend a March 1 deadline for imposing higher tariffs on Chinese goods also helped the mood. indexes in Wall Street and Europe fell as weak U.S. retail data prompted concerns about retailer earnings. London's main bourse was Coca Cola HBC, CCH.L which slipped 8.6 percent to its worst-ever day after it warned economic growth would slow in many of its markets this year.

The mid-caps also saw steep, news-related moves.

ConvaTec CTEC.L slumped to a record low, losing nearly one-fifth in market value after reporting lower annual operating profit. & Benny's owner Restaurant Group RTN.L skidded 11 percent to its lowest level in nine and a half years on news its chief executive officer will step down due to "extenuating personal circumstances". Bank TBCG.L , Georgia's largest retail bank, gave up nearly 7 percent after it said Georgia's central bank had asked its chairman and vice-chairman to step down as board members of its unit relating to an ongoing investigation. ASHM.L shares dropped 4 percent as the chief executive and majority owner of the emerging-market-focused fund manager revealed plans to sell down his stake, overshadowing a rise in assets under management. the midcaps was Lloyd's of London insurer Lancashire LRE.L that jumped 7.1 percent after it swung to a profit in 2018 from a loss a year earlier, helped by a rise in gross written premiums. MONY.L also rose 6.6 percent after it said it was confident of delivering market expectations for the year and also announced a chairman transition. AZN vs FTSE 100



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