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Coca-Cola HBC and ITV help FTSE to gain further
May 15, 2015 / 11:28 AM / 3 years ago

Coca-Cola HBC and ITV help FTSE to gain further

* Blue-chip FTSE 100 index up 0.4 pct

* Bottler Coca-Cola HBC posts a rise in volumes

* ITV rises on positive broker comments

By Atul Prakash and Alistair Smout

LONDON, May 15 (Reuters) - Britain’s top share index climbed higher on Friday after strong sales numbers from drinks bottler Coca-Cola HBC and encouraging comments from some top brokers about broadcaster ITV.

Coca-Cola HBC rose 2.4 percent after saying it was “encouraged” by trading in its first quarter, with volumes rising 7.2 percent helped by its performance in Nigeria, Poland, Romania, Hungary and the Czech Republic.

ITV rose nearly 2 percent, with JP Morgan, Barclays and Bernstein all raising their target prices for the stocks.

“We continue to see ITV as a well-managed company that executes their business plan very well,” analysts at Barclays said in a note.

SABMiller rose 1.2 percent after saying it would acquire British craft beer firm Meantime Brewing Company, giving the maker of big name brands such as Peroni and Grolsh exposure to the fastest-growing part of the British beer market.

“The variety of styles added to SAB’s extensive local and heritage beer menu should serve it well, while its experience will help with Meantime’s strategic goal of making beer attractive to a wider clientele,” Mike van Dulken, head of research at Accendo Markets, said.

“While acting as a predator today, SAB remains prey in terms of sector consolidation which is keeping the shares close to all-time highs.”

Britain’s blue-chip FTSE 100 index was up 0.4 percent at 7,002.41 points by 1031 GMT, taking its rally from Thursday’s low to 1.5 percent. However, it remains 0.6 percent lower for the week after the global bond market rout which investors said was hurting risk appetite.

Although bonds market steadied on Friday, analysts were looking to U.S. data later in the session for clues over the timing of a U.S. rate hike and its impact on bond yields.

The FTSE index is about 2 percent below a record high of 7,122.74 in April. It has traded in a tight 300 point range since the start of February. (Reporting by Atul Prakash; Editing by Ruth Pitchford)

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