UPDATE 2-JD Sports leads FTSE 100 higher, rate cut hopes support

  • Reuters
  • Stock Market News
UPDATE 2-JD Sports leads FTSE 100 higher, rate cut hopes support
Credit: © Reuters.

* FTSE 100 up 0.4%, FTSE 250 up 0.3%

* JD Sports hits life high after profit rise

* Galliford jumps on deal talks

* 888 skids as earnings hit by higher tax, Brexit-related expenses (Adds new items, analyst comments, updates to closing prices)

By Muvija M and Shashwat Awasthi

Sept 10 (Reuters) - London's FTSE 100 overcame early losses to close higher on Tuesday as hopes of imminent interest rate cuts from major central banks buoyed sentiment, while JD Sports jumped to an all-time high on upbeat results.

The blue-chip index .FTSE added 0.4%, with JD Sports JD.L gaining 8.8% after its gym clothing and premium-branded fashion helped it post higher profit and offset UK retail sector gloom. FTSE 250 .FTMC rose 0.3%, helped in part by a nearly 13% surge in Cairn Energy CNE.L as strong half-year results led to a production target upgrade. a sign of ongoing rotation, investors dumped defensive shares and bought stocks of sectors that have underperformed this year, helping an index of banks .FTNMX8350 climb 2.4% for its best day since January. LIVE/

Shares of Lloyds LLOY.L and Barclays BARC.L rose 4.3% and 4.9%, respectively, while healthcare stocks GlaxoSmithKline GSK.L and AstraZeneca AZN.L shed more than 2% each.

UK markets also looked past disappointing data from China overnight that had added to fears of a global recession.

Speculation that the European Central Bank will cut interest rates this week and that the U.S. Federal Reserve will follow suit later this month in the face of slowing economic growth helped stoke some risk appetite.

"Seeing as the ECB are tipped to go down the path of an interest rate cut, stocks are likely to be buoyant between now and the announcement," CMC (NS: CMC ) Markets analyst David Madden said.

Oil heavyweights Shell RDSa.L and BP BP.L were the biggest boosts to the main index as they tracked a rise in crude prices on hopes that OPEC and other oil-producing countries may agree to extend output cuts to prop up prices. O/R

Mid-cap builder Galliford Try GFRD.L advanced 8% after it restarted preliminary talks to sell its residential housing businesses to Bovis Homes BVS.L .

Bovis, whose shares dropped 3.5%, nudged up its proposed offer and included a cash element, which Markets.com analyst Neil Wilson said would be "a welcome injection for the newly reorganised Galliford construction division." small-caps, online gambling firm 888 Holdings 888.L slumped 8.6%, its worst day in almost a year, after results showed a hit to earnings from a rise in online gaming taxes and administrative expenses due to Brexit preparations.

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