Britain's FTSE recovers, set for fourth straight week of gains


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    * FTSE 100 up 0.4 pct
    * Miners support, Fresnillo rises on gold demand
    * Trimmed revenue forecast, drug delay hit Hikma
    * UBS 'sell' sends Johnson Matthey down
    * Experian sinks further as Jefferies cuts to 'hold'

    By Helen ReidLONDON, May 19 (Reuters) - Britain's major share index
recovered on Friday after a pullback in the previous session,
marching towards its fourth straight week of gains as investors
focused on underlying earnings growth and better economic data.
    The FTSE 100 <.FTSE> was up 0.5 percent by 0900 GMT, on
track for its fourth straight week of gains, though this week's
performance was dented by worries over the Trump administration
that have sent stocks tumbling across the globe.
    Investors looked through the political uncertainty to a
better earnings season and improved British retail sales data on
Thursday which pointed to a brighter outlook for consumer-facing
    "Generally earnings have been better than expected," said
Laura Foll, head of the UK equity fund at Henderson.
    "The retail sales data that came out yesterday was slightly
higher than people were expecting, so there's also some relief
after the March data which was quite weak."
    Blue-chips hovered just below the fresh record high set on
    While flows data shows investors have been piling into
European equities, with a preference for the region accentuated
since the French election, British stocks could be snubbed due
to Brexit fears bubbling under the surface.
    "The UK hasn't benefited from the inflows that Europe has,"
said Foll.
    Builders Persimmon <PSN.L> and Taylor Wimpey <TW.L> were
among top gainers, after Prime Minister Theresa May pledged to
build 1.5 million new homes by 2022 in the Conservative party
manifesto unveiled on Thursday. [nL9N1FN01S]
    Miners Glencore <GLEN.L>, Rio Tinto <RIO.L> and Anglo
American <AAL.L> underpinned gains on the index, up 1.2 to 1.7
    While a broad-based recovery pushed the FTSE higher, some
stocks saw big losses.
    Hikma <HIK.L> shares fell 4.6 percent, the top FTSE loser
after it lowered its revenue forecast for the full year to
reflect a delay in the launch of its generic asthma drug.
    Hikma fell 8 percent last week after U.S. regulators denied
approval for the drug, citing "major" issues with the
application. [nL4N1IL2BS]
    The world's biggest credit data company Experian <EXPN.L>
fell 2.2 percent, set for its third straight session of losses
after Jefferies cut the stock to 'hold', citing slowing U.S.
credit momentum. [nL8N1IL1EG]
    Experian extended the previous session's losses, when
allegations against Brazil's president roiled markets and sent
it and other stocks exposed to the Latin American country down.
    Gold miner Fresnillo <FRES.L> gained 2 percent, as the price
of the safe haven asset continued to rise, with investors
rushing into it among political turbulence in the United States.
    Among mid-caps, tour operator Thomas Cook Group <TCG.L> fell
4.5 percent after Barclays cut the stock to equal weight, citing
a strong recent run, challenging market environment and concerns
about the UK consumer. [nL8N1IL165]

 (Editing by Catherine Evans)
 ((; +44 20 7542 7748;))

For related prices, Reuters users may click on - *
 UK stock report     [.L]
 FTSE index:         <0#.FTS6>
 techMARK 100 index: <.FTT1X>         FTSE futures:     <0#FFI:>
 Gilt futures:       <0#FLG:>         Smallcap index:    <.FTSC>
 FTSE 250 index:     <.FTMC>          FTSE 350 index:    <.FTLC>
 Market digest:      <.AD.L>          Top 10 by vol:     <.AV.L>
 Top price gainers:  <.NG.L>          Top % gainers:     <.PG.L>
 Top price losers:   <.NL.L>          Top % losers:      <.PL.L>

 * For related news, click on - *
 UK hot stocks:      [HOT and GB]     Wall Street:          [.N]
 Gilts report:       [GB/]            Euro bond report [GVD/EUR]
 Pan European stock report: [.EU]
 Tokyo stocks:       [.T]             HK stocks:           [.HK]
 Sterling report:    [GBP/]           Dollar report:      [USD/]

 * For company prices, click on - *
 Company directory:  <UKEQ>          By sector:          <FTAX>

 * For pan-European market data, click on - *
 European Equities speed guide................ <EUR/EQUITY>
 FTSE Eurotop 300 index........................... <.FTEU3>
 DJ STOXX index................................... <.STOXX>
 Top 10 STOXX sectors........................ <.PGL.STOXXS>
 Top 10 EUROSTOXX sectors................... <.PGL.STOXXES>
 Top 10 Eurotop 300 sectors.................. <.PGL.FTEU3S>
 Top 25 European pct gainers.................... <.PG.PEUR>
 Top 25 European pct losers..................... <.PL.PEUR>))


This article appears in: Stocks , World Markets , Politics
Referenced Symbols: AAL , EXPN , FRES , GLEN , HIK

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