By Danilo Masoni
MILAN (Reuters) - UK shares rose on Thursday as financials rallied, tracking strength in their European peers and heavyweight drugmaker AstraZeneca
The FTSE 100 <.FTSE> rose 0.3 percent by 0955 GMT, as relief about the U.S. midterm vote delivering no big surprises continued, while the domestically focussed mid-cap index rose 0.3 percent.
"With the Dow Jones posting some big gains on Wednesday, the post-US midterm growth rolled over into Thursday," said Connor Campbell, analyst at Spreadex in London.
"This was a decent set of results with the reiteration of guidance largely expected. That said the continued outperformance from the new product launches and core diabetes portfolio should be well received," said Liberum analyst Graham Doyle.
In the same sector, which is seen benefiting from the U.S. vote's outcome, Hikma
Analysts say a split Congress that is unlikely to significantly cut government healthcare programmes or reduce drug prices in the world's biggest and most profitable market.
Among other companies reporting results was Britain's No. 2 supermarket Sainsbury
Its shares rose as much as 1.8 percent after cost savings helped it beat forecasts with a 20 percent increase in first-half profit. They later pared gains and were down 0.5 percent.
Jefferies said the update was largely uneventful and that developments relating to the 7.4 billion-pound Asda takeover were key.
"We believe the market efficiently prices in the possibility of the deal being blocked and that of an approval being granted with fairly extensive store disposal requirements," they said.
Financials provided the biggest boost to the FTSE, with shares in Lloyds
Among top fallers was Marks & Spencer
(Reporting by Danilo Masoni; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)