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Miners lead FTSE rebound, Lookers sinks on profit alert

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11/01/2019 | 12:19pm EST
A red London bus passes the Stock Exchange in London

(Reuters) - The UK blue-chip index bounced back on Friday from its worst session in a month, led by oil heavyweights and miners, following upbeat factory data from China, while car dealership Lookers tanked after another profit alert.

The FTSE 100 was 0.3% higher by 0855 GMT, recouping some of the more than 1% drop in the previous session, and the FTSE 250 <.FTMC> added 0.4%.

Renewed worries about Washington and Beijing settling their differences in trade and the British parliament approving a snap election in December ahead of the next Brexit deadline have left investors cautious in recent weeks.

However, concerns over a global slowdown were kept in check after a survey showed China's factory activity unexpectedly expanded at the fastest pace in well over two years in October.

Sentiment was also lifted by comments from U.S. President Donald Trump that the United States and China would soon announce a new site where he and Chinese President Xi Jinping will sign a "Phase One" trade agreement.

That soothed investor nerves after a Bloomberg report that Chinese officials doubted if it is possible to reach a comprehensive long-term trade deal with Washington.

The report partly led to the FTSE 100 index, whose components have a greater international presence, to record a monthly loss for October.

Among news-driven moves, Lookers plunged 15% on the smallcap index after the company issued its second warning on profits in less than four months and announced the departure of its two top executives.

"The decision to drive management change was clearly taken in light of recent company performance and has only just occurred, meaning the recruitment process will take some time to be completed," Peel Hunt analysts wrote in a note.

The update from Lookers dragged shares in rival Inchcape by 3.4%.

Home repairs provider Homeserve, however, added 3% to lead FTSE 250 gainers after Peel Hunt analysts raised rating on stock to "add" from "hold" ahead of half-year report.

Another notable gainer was BBA Aviation, which rose 2.4% after the aviation services provider set out plans to return $835 million to shareholders.

Graphic: Lookers - https://fingfx.thomsonreuters.com/gfx/buzzifr/14/9811/9811/lookers.png

(Reporting by Muvija M and Shashwat Awasthi in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)

Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
BBA AVIATION PLC 1.39% 306.8 Delayed Quote.40.60%
FTSE 100 INDEX 0.28% 7234.11 End-of-day quote.0.00%
HOMESERVE PLC -1.03% 1153 Delayed Quote.33.22%
INCHCAPE PLC 2.67% 654 Delayed Quote.18.59%
LOOKERS PLC 5.60% 51.9 Delayed Quote.-44.05%
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