Sainsbury's, Lloyds drive Britain's main share index higher

Sainsbury's, Lloyds drive Britain's main share index higher
FILE PHOTO: Financial traders work at their desks at CMC Markets in the City of London, Britain, April 11, 2019. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls -
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(Reuters) - London's blue chip share index rose on Wednesday as Sainsbury's surged following a profit beat and banking group Lloyds climbed after revising its capital guidance.

The main index was 0.3 percent higher by 0725 GMT, while the midcaps added 0.2 percent.

Sainsbury's shares jumped 5.3 percent, their biggest intraday rise in a year, after the supermarket group's underlying full-year profit beat market estimates and it said it would accelerate investment in its store estate and technology.

Boosting the index the most was Lloyds as it gained 1.3 percent after announcing a revised target for its Common Equity Tier 1 (CET1) ratio - a closely watched measure of balance sheet strength.

British American Tobacco added 1.1 percent, following U.S. peers that rose overnight after the Food and Drug Administration permitted the sale of Philip Morris's tobacco-heating alternative to cigarettes.

Takeaway group Just Eat, however, tumbled 2.5 percent after JP Morgan said European rivals Delivery Hero and looked more attractive.

Overall trading volumes were slim as many markets elsewhere in Europe were closed for a May 1 public holiday.

(Reporting by Muvija M in Bengaluru; Editing by Susan Fenton)

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