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FTSE gains on company updates, Barclays jumps
May 8, 2014 / 10:46 AM / 3 years ago

FTSE gains on company updates, Barclays jumps

* FTSE 100 index rises 0.4 percent
    * Barclays gains on bold revival plan
    * BT advances after strong full-year results
    * Analysts say index could retest 6,865

    By Tricia Wright
    LONDON, May 8 (Reuters) - Britain's top shares rose on
Thursday following encouraging company updates, with BT 
surging after strong results and Barclays bank up on a
revival plan, as charts indicated the FTSE 100 could reach late
February highs.
    Barclays climbed 4.6 percent, the top percentage gainer on
the index, after saying it will cut 19,000 jobs in the
next three years and set up a "bad bank". It led
the UK banking index up 1 percent.
    "Barclays' significant restructuring to simplify the group
is welcomed by investors as an effort to transform the bank
...even if it means the flagship investment banking division,
which has driven things for so long, needs scaling back," Mike
van Dulken, head of research at Accendo Markets, said. 
    BT Group rose 3.2 percent as strong demand for fibre
broadband and television helped the telecom company report its
first growth in consumer revenues in a decade. 
    At 1033 GMT, the FTSE 100 was up 30.11 points, or 0.4
percent, at 6,826.55 points.
    Barclays Capital analyst Lynnden Branigan said that a close
above 6,838, the intraday high on May 2, could pave the way for
the index to retest its late February closing high of 6,865.
    The broader market also got support from dovish comments
from U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen on Wednesday and
data on Thursday showing China's exports and imports returned to
slight growth in April, beating forecasts and offering some
positive signals for the economy. 
    Miners reacted positively as China is the world's biggest
consumer of metals. The UK mining index was up 0.3
percent, while Anglo American rose 1.3 percent.
    Gains in the broader market were capped by sharp declines by
some shares. Sage Group fell 5.5 percent as its Chief
Executive Guy Berruyer said he would step down and its results
disappointed some investors. 
    Investors were awaiting the outcome of a Bank of England
policy meeting. The central bank looks set to hold rates at a
record low despite signs that the recovery is picking up more
speed and that house prices are surging.    

 (Additional reporting by Atul Prakash; Editing by John

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