Melrose, healthcare stocks lift FTSE 100; ex-dividend trades cap gains

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Pedestrians leave and enter the London Stock Exchange in London, Britain August 15, 2017. REUTERS/Neil Hall/File Photo/File Photo

(Reuters) – London’s edged higher on Thursday, helped by healthcare stocks and Melrose Industries, although gains were capped by ex-dividend trading and losses in Unilever (LON:) shares.

The blue-chip index rose 0.1%, with Melrose gaining 4% to the top of FTSE 100 after the engineering firm swung to a first-half profit.

Drugmaker AstraZeneca (NASDAQ:) rose 0.1%, providing the biggest boost to the index.

Global miner BHP Group dropped 5.2% to the bottom of FTSE 100, while motor insurer Admiral Group (LON:) shed 2.3% as it traded ex-dividend.

Unilever Plc slipped 1.8% after JP Morgan downgraded the Dove soap maker’s stock to “underweight” from “neutral”.

The domestically focussed mid-cap index inched 0.2% lower after closing at a record high in the previous session.

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