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UPDATE 2-Upbeat Melrose earnings lift FTSE 100; energy stocks gain

UPDATE 2-Upbeat Melrose earnings lift FTSE 100; energy stocks gain

reuters.com · 09/02/2021 04:15
UPDATE 2-Upbeat Melrose earnings lift FTSE 100; energy stocks gain

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Melrose jumps as aerospace division recovery drives H1 profit

Unilever falls as JP Morgan cuts to underweight

CMC Markets tumbles on annual earnings forecast cut

FTSE 100 adds 0.2%, FTSE 250 off 0.1%

Updates to close

By Devik Jain

- The FTSE 100 rose on Thursday on an upbeat earnings report from Melrose Industries and as higher oil prices lifted energy stocks, although ex-dividend trading and losses in heavyweight Unilever capped gains.

The blue-chip index .FTSE closed up 0.2%, with engineering firm Melrose MRON.L surging 7.2% to a more-than-four-month high after swinging to a first-half profit, helped by a recovery in its aerospace division. nL4N2Q41EU

On the other hand, global miner BHP Group BHPB.L slid 5.6% to the bottom of index, while motor insurer Admiral Group ADML.L slipped 1.9% as they traded ex-dividend.

The FTSE 100 has risen more than 10% so far this year, boosted by strong corporate earnings and hopes of a strong vaccine-led economic recovery, but a global resurgence in coronavirus cases and fears of a tapering in global monetary policy have rekindled concerns about the pace of growth.

Focus on Friday will be on the U.S. monthly jobs report, which could set the stage for the Federal Reserve's policy meeting later this month.

"The market is waiting for this non-farm payrolls (data) that has potentially big market moving implications for the Federal Reserve," said Neil Wilson, chief market analyst at Markets.com.

"With the Fed looking at the employment market more and more as its guide rather than inflation ... you're getting to the point now where, because of the potential imminent taper, each jobs report becomes more and more important."

The domestically focussed mid-cap index .FTMC was down 0.1%, after notching a record closing high on Wednesday.

Unilever Plc ULVR.L fell 2.1% as JP Morgan downgraded the Dove soap maker's stock to "underweight" from "neutral".

CMC Markets CMCX.L sank 27.4% to the bottom of the index after the online trading platform slashed its annual earnings outlook. nL4N2Q41G4

EnQuest ENQ.L fell 6.1% after the North Sea-focused oil producer forecast annual production at the lower end of its earlier outlook range. nL4N2Q41HC


(Reporting by Devik Jain and Sagarika Jaisinghani in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu, Rashmi Aich and Steve Orlofsky)

((Devik.Jain@thomsonreuters.com; within U.S. +1 646 223 8780; outside U.S. +91 80 6182 2062; ;))

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