January 17, 2020 / 8:28 AM / a month ago

FTSE 100 higher after China GDP data; IAG climbs

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* FTSE 100 up 0.3%, FTSE 250 up 0.2%

* China GDP in line with expectations

* IAG among top boosts to main index

* Hastings slides, drags peer Admiral lower

Jan 17 (Reuters) - London’s FTSE 100 joined a rally in global bourses on Friday as China’s economic growth met expectations despite its trade war with the United States, while IAG jumped after it scrapped a rule capping ownership of its shares by non-Europeans.

China’s 2019 growth of 6.1% was its weakest in nearly three decades, but signs of an improvement in business confidence after de-escalation of its trade dispute with Washington gave investors cause for comfort.

The FTSE 100 added 0.3%, partly boosted by British Airways-owner IAG, which rose 4.3% to its highest level since Sept. 2018.

NMC Health climbed 6% to the top of the blue-chip bourse after an independent review committee tapped a former Federal Bureau of Investigation director to compile a report on allegations by U.S. firm Muddy Waters.

The midcap FTSE 250 advanced 0.2%. But motor insurer Hastings slid 8% after it forecast a slump in annual earnings and lower dividend, and dragged blue-chip peer Admiral down 4%. (Reporting by Shashwat Awasthi in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)

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