(Reuters) – London’s FTSE 100 rose on Wednesday, and the domestically focussed mid-cap index hit a record high, lifted by non-life insurers and an $8.6 billion buyout deal for software security firm Avast.
The blue-chip FTSE 100 rose 0.3%, with non-life insurers and oil stocks leading gains.
Avast was the top percentage gainer, up 3.3%, after U.S. based NortonLifeLock Inc agreed to buy the firm for $8.6 billion in cash and shares to create a leader in consumer security software.
Positive earnings, cheap interest rates and re-opening optimism has pushed the FTSE 100 up 11% this year, but it has underperformed its mid-cap peers and the wider European stock market, which continue to scale record highs.
The domestically focussed mid-cap index hit an all-time high of 23,650.90 earlier in the day.
Food delivery company Deliveroo dropped 3.8% after it said there was no material impact from the wider reopening of restaurants in its biggest market, Britain, in the second quarter.
“The pandemic has clearly offered a structural growth opportunity for Deliveroo, but the longer-term outlook depends on how demand holds up in a post-pandemic world,” said Susannah Streeter, senior analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, in a note.
“The fact that it relies heavily on a gig economy model is still a risk for the company.”
Among gainers, British motor insurer Admiral rose 1.5% after it reported a 76% surge in first-half earnings and announced a 27.1 pence special dividend.
Provident Financial jumped 2.5% to a seven-month high after its half-yearly adjusted profit surged.
Graphics: UK midcaps at par with European aggregate
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