February 4, 2020 / 8:37 AM / 2 months ago

British stocks power ahead as China cbank steps in to soothe markets

(For a live blog on European stocks, type LIVE/ in an Eikon news window)

* FTSE 100 up 1.4%, FTSE 250 up 1.1%

* BP, Ferguson among top blue-chip gainers

* Micro Focus lags midcaps

Feb 4 (Reuters) - UK shares surged more than 1% on Tuesday, tracking Asian stock markets, as investors took heart from efforts by China’s central bank to shore up the economy, while continuing to assess the potential fallout from the coronavirus outbreak.

Hong Kong reported its first death from the virus, the second outside mainland China from the epidemic that has killed more than 420 people. Yet, global markets are staging a comeback, following a sell-off last week.

The FTSE 100 soared 1.4%. Top gainers on the index included BP Plc, which rose 3.1% after hiking its dividend, and plumbing parts distributor Ferguson Plc, which gained 4.3% as it mulls over listing its shares in the U.S.

The FTSE 250 added 1.1%, though IT firm Micro Focus International Plc slid 12% after it reported lower annual revenue and profit and said its executive chairman would stand down. (Reporting by Shashwat Awasthi in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)

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