UPDATE 2-UK mid-caps hit record high on recovery hopes; M&A chatter boosts Meggitt


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    * St. Modwen Properties surges on $1.68 bln buyout offer
    * Melrose rises on Morgan Stanley PT hike
    * FTSE 100 up 0.7%, FTSE 250 adds 1.2%

 (Updates to market close)
    By Shivani Kumaresan and Devik Jain
    May 7 (Reuters) - Britain’s mid-cap index closed at a record
high on Friday as hopes of a stronger economic recovery lifted
industrial and consumer discretionary stocks, while Meggitt
 MGGT.L  shares soared on a takeover report.
    The domestically focused mid-cap FTSE 250 index  .FTMC 
advanced 1.2%, with industrial stocks, including Easyjet Plc
 EZJ.L , IMI Plc  IMI.L  and Pagegroup Plc  PAGE.L , rising
between 2.7% and 5.1%. 
    The blue-chip index  .FTSE  rose 0.7%, clocking its best
week since April with Melrose Industries  MRON.L  adding 1.8%
after Morgan Stanley raised its price target on the engineer's
    Mining stocks, mainly Anglo American  AAL.L , Glencore Plc
 GLEN.L  and Rio Tinto Plc  RIO.L , provided the biggest boost
on the index, gaining between 0.7% and 3.6%.
    "The solid rise comes after the BoE upgraded its growth
forecasts for the UK. Confirmation of stronger growth from the
BoE has added to market confidence that the recovery is firmly
on track," said Sophie Griffiths, market analyst, UK & EMEA,
    "With further easing of lockdown measures later this month,
economic growth is likely to accelerate."
    Both the indexes have gained 10% year-to-date as investors
flocked to energy, materials and banking stocks that are seen
benefiting the most from a stronger economic recovery due to
speedy COVID-19 vaccine rollouts and government policy support.
    St. Modwen Properties  SMP.L  surged 20.0% to the top of
midcap index after it received a potential takeover offer from
private equity firm Blackstone  BX.N , valuing the property
developer at around 1.21 billion pounds ($1.68 billion).
    Meggitt jumped 8.3% on a report that U.S. group Woodward Inc
 WWD.O  was looking to acquire the UK aero-engineer.
    Barclays  BARC.L  gained 2.5% after activist investor
Sherborne sold its 6% stake in the company, disbanding its
efforts to overhaul the British bank.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL8N2MU1HH

 (Reporting by Devik Jain and Shivani Kumaresan in Bengaluru;
Editing by Subhranshu Sahu 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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 Market digest:       .AD.L           Top 10 by vol:      .AV.L  
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