August 5, 2014 / 10:51 AM / in 4 years

Intertek and Weir lead Britain's FTSE higher

* FTSE 100 gains 0.4 pct

* Intertek boosted by Numis upgrade

* Weir gains on takeover talk

By Sudip Kar-Gupta

LONDON, Aug 5 (Reuters) - A rise in the shares of quality and safety services company Intertek and engineering group Weir led Britain’s top equity index higher on Tuesday.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 index rose 0.4 percent, or 29.72 points, to 6,707.24 points going into midsession.

Intertek was the best-performing FTSE 100 stock in percentage terms, rising 2.8 percent after Numis raised its rating on the company to “add” from “hold”, a day after Intertek posted an increase in its interim profits and dividend.

Weir Group put on 2.8 percent also after its decision on Monday to end its corporate broker agreement with Bank of America Merrill Lynch suggested that Weir could be targeted by bigger rivals for a takeover.

Weir said that the U.S. bank’s appointment by another company, which Weir did not name, created a conflict of interest.

“Yesterday’s decision to sack BAML illustrates that the company is really getting too neurotic to stay strongly independent for long,” Hobart Capital director Justin Haque said.

The FTSE 100 fell 1.7 percent last week, as world stock markets were affected by an upsurge in violence in Gaza and Ukraine, geopolitical flashpoints that are seen clouding the near-term outlook for the FTSE.

Darren Easton, director of trading at Logic Investments, said he would look to sell positions on the FTSE if it rose up to 6,740 points.

“We’ve decided it would be prudent to sell into strength,” he said. (Additional reporting by Alistair Smout; Editing by Louise Ireland)

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