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* FTSE 100 up 0.3 pct
* B&Q owner hits its highest level since 2014
* Supermarkets diverge after mixed Kantar data
* Barrat Developments suffers UBS downgrade
By Alistair Smout
LONDON, Sept 20 Britain's top share index rose
on Tuesday, buoyed by results for Kingfisher, as supermarkets
headed in opposite directions following the latest Kantar sales
Kingfisher, Europe's largest home improvement retailer, beat
forecasts for first-half profit, boosted by strong demand in
Britain and Poland.
The B&Q and Screwfix owner hit its highest level for more
than two years - 2.2 percent, the top gainer on the FTSE 100
, which rose 0.3 percent to 6,831.31 points.
"Pre-tax profit & forecasts were both ahead of consensus and
there is the real possibility of earnings upgrades that, given
the tough retail environment, will be welcomed by the market,"
said Atif Latif, director at Guardian Stockbrokers
The stock was up
The index extended gains from Monday's 1.5 percent rally,
when the market was buoyed by ralling commodity firms.
Mining stocks rose again, up 1.2 percent, as
copper steadied after recent falls, though energy shares fell
back with the price of oil.
Traders said that moves might be muted ahead of central bank
meetings in the United States and Japan later this week.
Tesco rose 1 percent, after the latest Kantar
grocery sales data. It posted its best performance for over two
years as British grocery sales rose 0.3 percent in the 12 weeks
to 11 September.
However, sector peers Sainsbury and Morrisons
both fell around 1 percent. Sainsbury's posted a 1.4
percent drop in sales, while Morrisons' sales declined by 2.3
Barratt Developments was a top faller, down 1.2
percent after UBS cut the stock to "neutral" from "buy".
However, it reiterated "buys" on the likes of Bellway
, Berkeley and Persimmon.
"We see value in the sector overall, especially for
investors taking a longer-term view," analysts at UBS said in a
"However, given the wide range of possible outcomes given
the pending uncertainties around the UK economic outlook, we
would expect volatility to remain a feature for share prices."
Regus dropped 5.6 percent, the biggest faller on the
mid-cap FTSE 250, after it said its founder was selling a 4
percent stake in the company.
The stock was set for its biggest fall since August.
(Reporting by Alistair Smout; Editing by Andrew Heavens)