* FTSE 100 up 0.2 pct at close
* StanChart gains as profit doubles
* Croda, CRH, LSE also rise on results
* Healthcare stocks biggest sectoral drag
(Recasts, adds detail, updates prices at close)
By Danilo Masoni and Kit Rees
LONDON, April 26 British shares rose on
Wednesday as gains for Standard Chartered and other
companies reporting well-received results helped offset a
pullback in healthcare stocks.
The blue-chip FTSE 100 index closed up 0.2 percent,
broadly in line with other European bourses, and rising for the
third straight session.
Standard Chartered was the biggest gainer, rising 4 percent
after its quarterly profit nearly doubled from a year ago as the
bank brought loan losses under control.
"Today's results are likely to keep bulls interested, but we
remain cautious on the revenue outlook," Jefferies analysts
The emerging markets-focused bank is in the middle of an
overhaul under Chief Executive Bill Winters. It has cut 15,000
jobs and closed its stock-trading arm.
Fellow lenders Barclays and Lloyds Banking Group
both rose about 0.8 percent, while Britain's banking
index gained 0.5 percent.
Among those boosted by earnings statements was chemicals
company Croda, which rose 3.8 percent to a record high,
and building materials company CRH, whose London-listed
shares were up 0.4 percent.
LSE shares advanced by 1.2 percent to a record high
after reporting a rise in quarterly income as its clearing and
FTSE Russell index-compiling operations showed strong growth.
The company said it was exploring investments to drive
growth after the collapse of its proposed Deutsche Boerse
"UK earnings are coming in pretty strong. Today's figures
all point to rising sales and profits. Croda was good, CRH solid
... But we are seeing a worry around consumer spending falling
away as we head into the second half of the year, and this may
hit earnings," ETX Capital senior market analyst, Neil Wilson,
Wilson said that, in contrast, consumer confidence in
continental Europe appears to be growing, raising the prospect
of "a big rotation into European equities" as political risks
Pharma stocks were the biggest drag on the FTSE, pulling
back from the previous session's gains on the back of dealmaking
activity in Europe.
Heavyweight drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline fell more than
2 percent after reporting first quarter figures, while Shire
dropped 0.6 percent.
A big faller among blue-chips was GKN, down 1.8
percent, after the engineering group warned that the encouraging
growth rate achieved to date may not last.
(Editing by Louise Ireland)