(Refiles with correct day in first paragraph)
* British share index up 0.4 percent
* Antofagasta, Centrica rise after as updates reassure
* Diageo falls on emerging market growth concerns
By Francesco Canepa
LONDON, July 31 British shares rose on
Wednesday, led by miner Antofagasta and utility
Centrica after solid earnings updates, with trade light
ahead of news from the U.S. Federal Reserve on plans for its
Antofagasta rose 1.8 percent to be among the top blue-chip
risers after the miner's copper production update beat market
The stock has fallen 37 percent in the past six months as
investors reacted to a growth slowdown in the world's largest
consumer of metals, China, and in emerging markets in general.
"Antofagasta is a relief rally more than anything," Andrew
Bass, a sales trader at Sanlam Securities, said.
Centrica rose 1.6 percent after reporting higher
first half earnings in an update analysts at Liberum Securities
said was as solid.
The FTSE 100 index of leading shares was up 27.9
points, or 0.4 percent, at 6,598.87 points at 0846 GMT, keeping
within the past week's tight 90-point range.
Drinks firm Diageo fell 0.7 percent to 1,968 pence in volume
already one third of its full-session average for the past 90
days after a quarterly update.
Traders cited a drop in sales in the Asia Pacific region and
caution on Brazil, highlighting concerns about the impact of a
slowdown in emerging market growth on European earnings.
"Everyone focuses so much on Asia to fuel growth for drinks
company," Joe Rundle, head of trading at ETX Capital, said,
adding the results were "not disastrous."
The European earnings season has so far been mixed, with
just over half of companies that have reported results meeting
or beating estimates, Thomson Reuters Starmine data showed.
The FTSE has struggled to hold on to gains recently, closing
well off intra-day high in each of the last seven sessions,
pointing to fading appetite from investors.
"I am now selling on the bounces," Ed Woolfitt, head of
trading at Galvan, said. "Technically, it feels a correction is
He added that the Fed's post-policy meeting announcement
late on Wednesday could derail the rally.
The U.S. central bank was expected to provide details about
plans to dial back its asset-purchase programme, which has
helped fuel a 16 percent rally in the FTSE since September 2012.
(Reporting By Francesco Canepa; Editing by John Stonestreet)