UK main index bounces back on WPP strength
* FTSE 100, FTSE 250 up 0.7 pct
* WPP surges as investors cheer 2018 results
* Jupiter Fund Management best mid-cap gainer
* Robert Walters jumps on higher earnings
* LSE rises after profit surge (Adds analyst comment, graphic and updates share prices)
March 1 (Reuters) - A surge in WPP shares after it reportedunderlying sales that were better than feared helped the Britishblue-chip bourse snap a three-day losing streak on Friday, whilea weaker sterling also lifted the dollar earners.
The FTSE 100 and the midcap index were both 0.7 percenthigher by 0927 GMT with the former on course for its biggestintra-day gain in more than two weeks.
WPPWPP.L , the world's biggest advertising company, jumped8 percent after results showed that although underlying netsales fell 0.4 percent in 2018, it was better than a forecast ofa 0.5 percent dip.
Friday's rise placed WPP on course for its best day innearly a year. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL5N20O1BD
London Stock Exchange GroupLSE.L added 4 percent after arise in 2018 adjusted operating profit on strong growth in itsclearing, capital markets and information services businesses. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL5N20O1CY
News that index publisher MSCI would raise the weight ofChinese mainland shares in its global benchmarks also boostedBritish stocks that have a greater exposure to Asia.
That, and a positive read-across from Italian luxury groupMoncler's MONC.MI results sent BurberryBRBY.L 3 percenthigher, while banking group HSBCHSBA.L also rose.
"I think the people who wished they'd bought into the markettwo weeks ago are buying in now," CMC Markets analyst DavidMadden said.
"A lot of the negative news has been overlooked in recentweeks and traders are viewing that as a sign that negative newshasn't held sentiment back so far and is probably not going tohold it back in the near term."
All but one sector in the main index was in the positiveterritory and gains were led by financial shares, which werebuoyed by hopes of avoiding a potentially disruptive no-dealBrexit scenario.
Among a handful of stocks in the red, property websiteRightmove RMV.L slumped 5.5 percent and was the worstperformer on FTSE 100 as it reported its slowest annual earningsgrowth in nine years.
Among midcaps, asset manager Jupiter Fund ManagementJUP.L jumped 8 percent after it said its capital surplus hadincreased, margins were steady and costs were set to be lower inthe year ahead.
But hedge fund firm Man GroupEMG.L slipped 5 percent asits full-year results were hit by investment losses of $7.7billion. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL5N20O1DK
Industrial firm Coats GroupCOA.L also underperformed witha 5 percent drop as its full-year operating profit was hit by arise in costs.
Small-cap recruiter Robert WaltersRWA.L surged 9 percentas investors focussed on the positive 2018 results rather than acautious tone set by the company on Brexit and its impact onconfidence.
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