May 8, 2014 / 8:25 AM / in 3 years

FTSE up on company updates, Barclays jumps

* Blue-chip FTSE 100 index rises 0.5 percent
    * Barclays gains on bold revival plan
    * BT advances after strong full-year results

    By Atul Prakash
    LONDON, May 8 (Reuters) - Britain's top share index rose in
morning trade on Thursday following encouraging company updates,
with BT surging after strong results and Barclays bank
 after announcing a revival plan.
    Barclays climbed 4.4 percent, the top percentage
gainer on the FTSE 100 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 0.9 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 2.7 percent as strong demand for fibre
broadband and television helped the telecom company report its
first growth in consumer revenues in a decade. 
    At 0757 GMT, the FTSE 100 index was up 0.5 percent at
6,827.05 points.
    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. 
    "Technically we are nearing the FTSE 100 index resistance
level, but with strong U.S. macro data we remain in an
investable climate and investors should remain cautiously
optimistic," Mike Jarman, chief market strategist at H2O
Markets, said.
    Miners reacted positively as China is the world's biggest
consumer of metals. The UK mining index was up 0.2
percent, while Anglo American rose 1 percent.
    Gains in the broader market were capped by sharp declines by
some shares. Sage Group fell more than 4 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.    

 (Reporting by Atul Prakash; Editing by John Stonestreet)

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