London stocks rise on upbeat earnings from GSK and Barratt


The offices of the London Stock Exchange Group are seen in the City of London, Britain December 29, 2017. REUTERS/Toby Melville

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  • GSK up as quarterly results beat forecasts
  • Barratt forecast soothes nerves over UK housing demand
  • Iliad says it has made an offer to buy 100% of Vodafone Italia
  • FTSE 100 up 0.8%, FTSE 250 up 1.7%

Feb 9 (Reuters) – British stocks were boosted on Wednesday by earnings and upbeat forecasts from drugmaker GSK and homebuilder Barratt, and positive sentiment also spilled over from a Wall Street rally overnight.

GSK (GSK.L) rose 0.6% after beating the quarterly forecast in its first earnings report since rejecting Unilever’s bid for its consumer arm. Read more

Barratt Developments Plc (BDEV.L) added 2.6% as it plans to build 250 more homes than its previous annual forecast, which would also exceed pre-pandemic levels, easing concerns about market demand British real estate. Read more

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“Barratt is certainly making hay while the sun shines as newbies rush to climb the ladder and other buyers trade in bigger homes,” said Susannah Streeter, principal investment and market analyst at Hargreaves. Lansdown.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 index (.FTSE) added 0.8%, taking inspiration from a rally on Wall Street on Tuesday.

The mid-cap index (.FTMC) jumped 1.7%, boosted by a 4.4% rise in Weir Group shares after Goldman Sachs upgraded the engineering firm to ‘buy’ at from “neutral”.

Value-oriented sectors, including mining, energy and banking companies, which have been battered during the pandemic, have recently been picked up by investors, helping the FTSE 100 index to outperform the broader European STOXX 600 index ( .STOXX) so far this year.

“The UK market has benefited from the dominance of commodities stocks which are in high demand, and as other developed economies worry about slowing growth, the FTSE 100 has maintained a firm stance,” said Kunal Sawhney, CEO of Kalkine. Group.

“In the current scenario, the London market is underweight and therefore able to attract a high valuation.”

Smurfit Kappa gained 2.4% after posting record profits in 2021 and plans to raise prices further this year. Read more

Vodafone (VOD.L) rose 0.8% after a spokesman for French telecommunications group Iliad said on Tuesday it had made an offer to buy 100% of Vodafone Italia.

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Reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber

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