Strong earnings help London stocks advance

  • Reuters
  • Stock Market News
Strong earnings help London stocks advance

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* FTSE 100 up 0.2%, FTSE 250 up 0.4%

* Smith+Nephew, among notable gainers

* Virus cases in South Korea deter more rapid gains

Feb 20 (Reuters) - London's FTSE 100 inched up on Thursday, led by an earnings-driven 5% rise in Smith+Nephew, while sharp gains in price comparison website and electrical engineering firm Spectris helped midcaps outperform.

The blue-chip index .FTSE added 0.2%, with Smith+Nephew SN.L hitting a more than four-month high after the medical products maker topped annual sales expectations for 2019 and forecast another year of revenue growth. FTSE 250 .FTMC rose 0.4%. MONY.L , which said on Wednesday that its chief executive officer would step down, snapped a three-day losing streak and surged 8%. Spectris SXS.L jumped 6.5% after its 2019 results. British benchmark indexes advanced, even though a coronavirus outbreak in South Korea stoked fears that the health crisis would deepen globally.

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