* FTSE 100 up 0.46 pct
* Miners support gains
* Hikma recovers after trimmed revenue forecast hits stock
* Experian sinks further as Jefferies cuts to 'hold'
(Updates after market close)
By Helen Reid
LONDON, May 19 Britain's major share index
recovered on Friday after a pullback in the previous session,
notching up its fourth straight week of gains as investors
focused on underlying earnings growth and better economic data.
The FTSE 100 was up nearly 0.5 percent on the day,
bringing it into positive territory for the week after its
performance was dented by worries over turmoil in U.S. President
Donald Trump's administration that sent stocks tumbling across
Investors looked through the political uncertainty to a
better earnings season and improved UK retail sales data which
pointed to a brighter outlook for consumer-facing stocks.
"Generally earnings have been better than expected," said
Laura Foll, head of the UK equity fund at Henderson.
"The retail sales data that came out yesterday was slightly
higher than people were expecting, so there's also some relief
after the March data which was quite weak."
Blue-chips hovered just below the fresh record high set on
While flows data shows investors have been piling into
European equities, with a preference for the region accentuated
since the French election, British stocks could be snubbed due
to Brexit fears bubbling under the surface.
"The UK hasn't benefited from the inflows that Europe has,"
Miners Rio Tinto and Anglo American
underpinned gains on the index, up 2.1 to 2.4 percent.
Hikma shares recovered from early losses to end 2.5
percent higher, after the drugmaker trimmed its revenue forecast
for the year to reflect the delayed launch of its generic drug
"Despite the ongoing difficulties in delivering the
potential of its Roxane axquisition, we remain confident of
Hikma's long-term potential, with generic Advair, first to file
Zytiga and first to file Xyrem opportunities still to come,"
said Stifel analysts.
Hikma fell 8 percent last week after U.S. regulators denied
approval for Advair, citing "major" issues with the application.
A broad-based recovery pushed the FTSE higher, but some
stocks bucked the trend.
Engineering conglomerate Smiths fell 2.8 percent
after its chief financial officer stepped down.
"The timing is poor: just as FX tailwinds recede and
industrials come under some pressure, the uncertainty this
creates does in the short term dent the safe haven status we
believe some investors accord Smiths," Stifel analysts said.
The world's biggest credit data company, Experian,
fell 1.7 percent after Jefferies cut the stock to 'hold', citing
slowing U.S. credit momentum.
Experian extended the previous session's losses, when
allegations against Brazil's president roiled markets and sent
it and other stocks exposed to the Latin American country down.
Among mid-caps, tour operator Thomas Cook Group fell
2.9 percent after Barclays cut the stock to equal weight, citing
a strong recent run, challenging market environment and concerns
about the UK consumer.
A 'strong buy' from broker Raymond James pushed engineering
and defence firm Senior up 6.5 percent, making it the
top mid-cap gainer.
(Editing by Mark Trevelyan)