UPDATE 2-FTSE 100 climbs as U.S.-China trade talks take off

Reuters

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    * FTSE 100 up 0.8 pct
    * FTSE 250 up 1 pct
    * BATS, Imperial Brands gain
    * Smith & Nephew slumps after M&A chatter
    * Mid-cap Metro Bank jumps on rating upgrade

 (Changes quote, updates to closing prices)
    By Muvija M and Shashwat Awasthi
    Feb 11 (Reuters) - British blue-chip names bounced back on
Monday buoyed by strength in bank and consumer shares, while a
stronger dollar lifted companies with greater international
exposure as a fresh round of Sino-U.S. trade talks commenced. 
    The main index  .FTSE  added 0.8 percent while midcaps
 .FTMC  were up 1 percent, after ending lower on Friday as fresh
concerns over the Sino-U.S. trade situation added to fears of a
slowdown in the world economy. 
    Overseas, gains on Wall Street were led by industrial
companies as a new round of talks between the United States and
China piqued hopes for a trade deal. 
    Asia-focused bank HSBC  HSBA.L  rose 1.5 percent. 
    Travel group TUI's  TUIT.L  London-listed shares advanced 5
percent to top the FTSE 100 leader-board as traders cited Bank
of America Merrill Lynch resuming coverage with a "Buy" rating. 
   
    Imperial Brands was 2 percent higher after the tobacco group
said its non-executive chairman Mark Williamson would step down.
Larger rival British American Tobacco  BATS.L  also rose 2.7
percent. 
    The gain in the FTSE 100, coming after three sessions of
losses, marked a strong start to a week in which British Prime
Minister Theresa May is due to update parliament on her progress
towards a European Union divorce deal. 
    The market held up despite data showing the British economy
had slowed in the final three months of last year, pushing
growth in 2018 to its weakest in six years, as Brexit worries
hammered investment.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL9N1SF00Q
    The contraction, however, was as expected and came after
economic growth forecast cuts by the Bank of England and the
European Commission last week.
    
    BREXIT CLOCKS TICKS 
    As the March 29 exit date ticks closer, a deal on how the
world's sixth-largest economy will leave the European Union is
still in limbo and companies are reigning in spending until the
fog clears. 
    May has rejected the idea of targeting a customs union with
the EU, stamping out hopes that she could shift her Brexit
policy to win over the opposition Labour Party.
    "Clearly the Brexit discussions - and the need for a
compromise to be forged - are a source for further concerns or
an opportunity to quell the malaise with huge implications for
all UK consumers, employees, employers and the general economy,"
Raymond James analyst Chris Bailey said of the data.
    After touching their highest since November on Chinese iron
ore futures hitting record levels, metals stocks shed some gains
to end up 1 percent, even as most base metals prices fell on
global growth worries.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL3N20611Q  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL3N2060W4
    Among mid-caps, the biggest boost came from takeaway group
Just Eat  JE.L , which climbed 4.4 percent after its shareholder
Cat Rock Capital Management urged the company to start merger
talks and said it would benefit from a deal rather than relying
on a new chief executive officer.  
    Metro Bank  MTRO.L , whose stock has roughly halved in value
following an accounting error, surged 6.5 percent stand among
top mid-cap gainers following a Berenberg upgrade.   
    Among a handful of losers was Smith & Nephew  SN.L  which
slid 3 percent after the Financial Times reported that it has
held talks to buy U.S.-based medical equipment maker NuVasive
 NUVA.O  in a deal that would be worth more than $3 billion. 
    Small-cap KCOM  KCOM.L  rose 6.1 percent after the Telegraph
reported that Virgin Media was considering a takeover bid, while
logistics firm Connect Group  CNCTC.L  rose 3 percent on a
contract with Daily Mirror publisher Reach Plc  RCH.L .
 urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL3N20611B  
 
    
    

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FTSE miners vs the blue-chip index    https://tmsnrt.rs/2BtVKSW
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 (Reporting by Muvija M and Shashwat Awasthi in Bengaluru;
Editing by Kirsten Donovan)
 ((Muvija.M@thomsonreuters.com; within U.S. +1 646 223 8780,
outside U.S. +91 80 6749 3638; Reuters Messaging:
muvija.m.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))
 
(( 
For related prices, Reuters users may click on - * 
 UK stock report      .L     
 FTSE index:          0#.FTS6  
 techMARK 100 index:  .FTT1X          FTSE futures:      0#FFI:  
 Gilt futures:        0#FLG:          Smallcap index:     .FTSC  
 FTSE 250 index:      .FTMC           FTSE 350 index:     .FTLC  
 Market digest:       .AD.L           Top 10 by vol:      .AV.L  
 Top price gainers:   .NG.L           Top % gainers:      .PG.L  
 Top price losers:    .NL.L           Top % losers:       .PL.L  
 
 
 * For related news, click on - *
 UK hot stocks:      [HOT and GB]     Wall Street:           .N 
 Gilts report:        GB/             Euro bond report  GVD/EUR 
 Pan European stock report:  .EU 
 Tokyo stocks:        .T              HK stocks:            .HK 
 Sterling report:     GBP/            Dollar report:       USD/ 
 
 
 * For company prices, click on - *
 Company directory:   UKEQ           By sector:           FTAX  
 
 
 * For pan-European market data, click on - *
 European Equities speed guide................  EUR/EQUITY  
 FTSE Eurotop 300 index...........................  .FTEU3  
 DJ STOXX index...................................  .STOXX  
 Top 10 STOXX sectors........................  .PGL.STOXXS  
 Top 10 EUROSTOXX sectors...................  .PGL.STOXXES  
 Top 10 Eurotop 300 sectors..................  .PGL.FTEU3S  
 Top 25 European pct gainers....................  .PG.PEUR  
 Top 25 European pct losers.....................  .PL.PEUR ))

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