UPDATE 2-FTSE up for 3rd day on China stimulus hopes, Halma jump

  • Reuters
  • Stock Market News
UPDATE 2-FTSE up for 3rd day on China stimulus hopes, Halma jump
Credit: © Reuters.

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

* Halma top gainer on main index

* easyJet glides higher after FY report

* LED maker Dialight tanks after profit alert (Adds news items, analyst comment, updates to closing prices)

By Muvija M and Shashwat Awasthi

Nov 19 (Reuters) - London's FTSE 100 shed most of its earlier gains but still managed to close higher on Tuesday, as sentiment was supported by a surge in safety equipment maker Halma and hopes of more stimulus from economic powerhouse China.

Continuing optimism after polls showed Conservatives in the lead ahead of a December snap election helped domestic stocks outperform. The FTSE 250 .FTMC , which had jumped over 1% earlier, ended with a 0.4% gain, still hovering at a 14-month high.

Markets are viewing a prospective Tory victory as a positive on hopes that Prime Minister Boris Johnson, with a majority in parliament, will be able to reduce uncertainty by delivering Brexit on or before the Jan. 31 deadline.

The blue-chip index .FTSE added 0.2% thanks in part to Halma HLMA.L , which climbed 8.5% after an upbeat half-year report. Rival Intertek ITRK.L also advanced 3.7%.

Asia-focused banks HSBC HSBA.L and Prudential PRU.L also boosted the blue-chip bourse after China's surprise lending rate cut spurred bets that more fiscal easing would follow.

On the Sino-U.S. trade front, a CNBC report on Monday termed Beijing's mood about a deal as "pessimistic". This was followed by Washington granting a 90-day extension allowing U.S. firms to continue doing business with China's Huawei. a plethora of conflicting headlines on where talks stand and how much progress has been made, traders are still awaiting concrete details before making further bets.

"Traders have failed to get excited today as the trade spat seems to have reached a standstill," CMC Markets analyst David Madden wrote.

Among mid-caps, Puretech Health PRTC.L led gains as it soared 16.5%, a day after a schizophrenia drug from its affiliate Karuna Therapeutics KRTX.O met the main goal in mid-stage trial. was complemented by a 5.3% rise in budget airline easyJet EZJ.L after it posted annual profit toward the top end of its expectations. The carrier also announced its intention to operate net-zero carbon flights across its network. headwinds from fuel are set to continue, the outlook is for a more supportive unit revenue environment," Liberum analysts wrote.

Though outsourcing firm Equiniti EQN.L booked its worst day on record after a profit warning and tumbled 13%, the FTSE 250 still handily outperformed the broader European benchmark .STOXX .

Small-cap lights manufacturer Dialight DIAL.L plunged almost 20% to its lowest in nearly a decade as the ongoing U.S.-China trade war forced it to warn on profits.

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