LONDON (Reuters) - The UK's top share index marched higher on Wednesday, helped by a weaker pound as company earnings took centre stage with some notable share price moves for easyJet and Smiths Group.
The blue chip FTSE 100 <.FTSE> index was up 0.5 percent at 7,662.83 points at 0855 GMT, in line with a broader rally among European stocks as the second quarter earnings season steps into gear.
Shares in easyJet
"The stars are aligning for easyJet this year," Richard Hunter, head of markets at interactive investor, said, highlighting helpful factors such as the demise of some of easyJet's competitors.
More broadly, miners and health stocks gave the biggest boost to the index. However, updates also prompted some large losses.
At the bottom of the index Smiths Group
Shares in Royal Mail
Elsewhere Brexit developments and inflation data weighed on the pound, which in turn gave the FTSE's dollar-earning constituents a boost.
Though British Prime Minister Theresa May won a parliamentary vote earlier in the week and kept her Brexit strategy on track, she has had to bow to pressure from Brexit supporters in her party.
However, divisions in the party have become apparent as Brexit rebels were threatened with a general election this summer if they defeated Prime Minister May's Brexit plans on customs, a lawmaker said on Wednesday.
"The growing lack of trust within the governing party as well as the political splits across the UK parliament are making it increasingly difficult for investors to ascertain a scenario where any agreement, even if one could be reached, would be acceptable to the EU," Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK, said.
(Reporting by Kit Rees; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)