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UK's FTSE 100 Rises on Mining, Healthcare Boost; Ocado Shines

  • Ocado soars on returning to profit, keeping guidance
  • AstraZeneca up after US FDA approves co's, Sanofi's antibody therapy
  • Darktrace shines after EY accounting review 'clears the decks'
  • UK CPI due Wednesday
  • FTSE 100 up 0.2%, FTSE 250 adds 0.5%

July 18 (Reuters) - UK's FTSE 100 gained on Tuesday, as miners advanced on higher metal prices and healthcare stocks got a boost from AstraZeneca, while shares of Ocado jumped after the online supermarket group kept its full-year guidance unchanged.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 added 0.2%, while the more domestically-focussed FTSE 250 midcap index rose 0.5%.

Miners of both industrial and precious metals rose 0.3% and 0.5% respectively, as most metal prices appreciated on a softer dollar.

Ocado jumped 13% to touch an over five-month high after the online supermarket and technology group kept its financial guidance for the year as it reported a return to underlying profit in the first half.

AstraZeneca added 0.8% as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said it had approved the drugmaker and partner Sanofi's antibody therapy to prevent respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) in infants and toddlers.

Investor focus will shift to UK June consumer prices data due Wednesday, to further assess where the Bank of England stands on monetary policy tightening.

Domestic inflation is expected to ease to 8.2% in June versus 8.7% in the previous month, as per a Reuters poll, while core inflation - which excludes volatile food, energy, alcohol and tobacco prices - is expected to hold steady year-over-year.

"This core figure remains three times higher than the Bank of England's target inflation rate of 2%, indicating that there is still much work to be done in curbing price pressures," said Giles Coghlan, chief market analyst at HYCM.

Darktrace jumped 19.6% after the cyber-security company forecast growth and said a review by auditor EY would not impact its previous financial statements.

Data on Monday, which showed China's economy grew at a frail pace in the second quarter, continued to bruise sentiment with China-exposed bank HSBC down 0.3%, while Prudential slipped 0.8%

Earnings from major U.S. banks will be eyed, with Morgan Stanley and Bank of America scheduled to report their quarterly results later in the day.

Reporting by Shashwat Chauhan in Bengaluru; Editing by Varun H K

Source: Reuters

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