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* FTSE 100 down flat, mid caps down 0.1 pct
* Compass Group, Intertek, Babcock all down after updates
* easyJet shares fly as pricing trends improve
* Melrose, Aggreko weigh on mid caps
By Kit Rees
LONDON, Nov 21 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 blue chip index was flat early on Tuesday amidst a flurry of company updates, with easyJet the top performer while quality testing firm Intertek and caterer Compass Group fell after giving updates.
The FTSE held at 7,387.96 points by 0947 GMT following a weak start, while mid caps declined 0.1 percent.
Budget airline easyJet’s full year earnings were well-received, with its shares soaring more than 5 percent to the top of the FTSE.
The airline said that it was benefiting from the collapse of rivals and problems at peer Ryanair, which has helped its pricing trends.
“For FY 2018, easyJet sees that revenue trends in the first quarter have been encouraging, primarily as a result of some capacity leaving the market,” analysts at Davy said in a note.
“After several quarters of declining unit revenue trends, the market will be encouraged by this statement.”
Compass fell 3.3 percent, touching its lowest level in eight months after releasing its full year earnings, while Intertek was 3.4 percent lower after issuing a trading statement.
Johnson Matthey declined more than 2 percent after the catalyst maker saw its first-half operating profit fall 2 percent following one-off restructuring charges.
Infrastructure maintenance contractor Babcock was another sizeable faller, down 2.7 percent after its first half results.
“There is very little tolerance for mediocre performance at this point in time,” Jonathan Roy, advisory investment manager at Charles Hanover Investments, said.
“What we’re starting to see is investors take themselves away from any stocks which aren’t up to scratch in terms of where they think growth is going,” Roy added.
Earnings were also the main focus among mid caps.
Shares in Melrose Industries tumbled 6.8 percent after a trading update, while Aggreko slumped 10.7 percent as its third-quarter results were hit by discounts it made to win a contract in Argentina earlier this year.
Shares in SIG, a construction materials supplier, were the biggest gainers, up 8.9 percent after a trading update.
Reporting by Kit Rees; Editing by Peter Graff