By Helen Reid
LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's top stock index climbed on Wednesday, with Pearson's outlook impressing the market, while mid-cap Mediclinic sank by a fifth after its results missed estimates.
The FTSE 100 <.FTSE> was up 0.3 percent by 0835 GMT after weaker-than-expected inflation data took the pound down a notch. The index is dominated by international exporters, who benefit from a weaker currency.
Shares in education publisher Pearson
"The education giant has been shifting away from more traditional classroom materials in favour of digital, and progress there looks more positive," said Nicholas Hyett, equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown.
Pearson is a widely shorted stock, and the amount of shares out on loan has risen this year, data from FIS Astec Analytics showed.
A weak update from mid-cap housebuilder Crest Nicholson
Crest Nicholson warned its full-year profit would be lower than expected, citing a challenging real estate market, and said its chief financial officer had stepped down.
Shares in software company Micro Focus
Overall, analysts are downgrading their earnings estimates for the FTSE 100 as well as the mid-cap FTSE 250 index, which was down 0.1 percent on Wednesday.
"Valuations don't look particularly stretched in absolute terms, but the earnings newsflow is still mixed at best," said Ian Williams, strategist at Peel Hunt.
The mid-cap segment, home to more growth stocks, fell in last week's selloff as investors seemed to turn back to value plays. Growth still had its attractions, though.
"You can be too gung ho about saying I'm rotating into value, if the earnings are still quite disappointing," said Williams.
Mid-caps saw big moves after results and broker notes. Mediclinic
"Investors will likely be disappointed by Swiss performance while revised margin guidance may imply another leg down in the Swiss story, introducing further uncertainty," wrote UBS analysts.
Dealmaking was also a mover. Shares in ContourGlobal
Among small-caps, Asos
"Asos' positive statement should reassure investors today, concerned by recent disappointments in the retail sector (muted sales growth and various profit warnings)," said Stifel analysts.
(Reporting by Helen Reid, editing by Larry King)