UPDATE 1-FTSE 100 recovers, driven by defensives, as trade nerves ebb

Reuters

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    * FTSE 100 up 0.8 pct at close
    * Defensive consumer, healthcare stocks drive gains
    * Sky rises after Comcast counter-bid
    * Paddy Power Betfair rises on World Cup result relief
    * Asos slides after sales growth miss

 (Adds detail, updates prices at close)
    By Helen Reid
    LONDON, July 12 (Reuters) - British shares bounced back on
Thursday, driven by financial and consumer stocks, as investor
worries eased and another bid for pay-TV firm Sky boosted its
stock.
    The FTSE 100  .FTSE  ended the session up 0.8 percent at
7,651.33 points, almost recovering all of Wednesday's losses
after the release of further U.S. tariff plans, as attention
shifted to an earnings season expected to deliver solid growth.
    Index gains were driven by financials, consumer stocks and
Sky, which rose after the latest bid in a battle between Comcast
and Twenty-First Century Fox to acquire it.
    Sky  SKYB.L  gained 3.4 percent after Comcast made a 14.75
pound per share counter-bid, exceeding a Twenty-First Century
Fox offer. The gains pushed the pay-TV stock to its highest
since the dotcom bubble.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL8N1U81DI
    "While a counter-bid is possible, we do not view Sky at 15
pounds as an attractive proposition and view the bidding war as
lacking sufficient momentum to support Sky above its current
price (3 percent above the leading bid)," said Macquarie
analysts, downgrading the stock to "neutral". 
    The FTSE 100 was helped in part by its weighting in
"defensive" sectors like consumer staples and healthcare, which
have strong cash flows and big payouts and which investors turn
to in times of uncertainty. 
    Tobacco company British American Tobacco  BATS.L  and pharma
stocks AstraZeneca  AZN.L  and GSK  GSK.L  were among the top
boosts to the index. 
    Bookmaker Paddy Power Betfair  PPB.I  rose 2.5 percent, with
traders citing relief after England was knocked out of the World
Cup by Croatia. 
    Oddschecker estimated bookmakers could lose 100 million
pounds if England won the World Cup.
    Paddy Power peer GVC  GVC.L  also gained two percent. 
    Among smaller stocks, ASOS  ASOS.L  shares sank 10.5 percent
after the online fashion retailer missed forecasts for sales
growth in its latest trading period and said full-year growth
would likely be at the lower end of its guidance. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL8N1U8111
    "The key disappointment is EU, where revenue growth slowed
to 23 percent in constant currency," said Berenberg analysts.
"UK performance remained very strong, which is positive ...
given this is ASOS' most mature and strongest market."
    Computacenter  CCC.L  shares jumped 9.3 percent to the top
of the FTSE mid-caps index after the IT services firm said it
expected full-year results to be "comfortably in excess" of its
prior forecasts.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL4N1U82NM
    Overall analysts have been upgrading their earnings
expectations for the FTSE 100 in recent weeks, a good omen for
companies' performance though the upward revisions also set a
higher hurdle for earnings to beat.

    <^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
FTSE 100 earnings revisions    https://reut.rs/2NJ3Tr2
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^>
 (Reporting by Helen Reid and Kit Rees, Editing by William
Maclean)
 ((mailto:kit.rees@thomsonreuters.com; +44 207 542 2784;))
 
(( 
For related prices, Reuters users may click on - * 
 UK stock report      .L     
 FTSE index:          0#.FTS6  
 techMARK 100 index:  .FTT1X          FTSE futures:      0#FFI:  
 Gilt futures:        0#FLG:          Smallcap index:     .FTSC  
 FTSE 250 index:      .FTMC           FTSE 350 index:     .FTLC  
 Market digest:       .AD.L           Top 10 by vol:      .AV.L  
 Top price gainers:   .NG.L           Top % gainers:      .PG.L  
 Top price losers:    .NL.L           Top % losers:       .PL.L  
 
 
 * For related news, click on - *
 UK hot stocks:      [HOT and GB]     Wall Street:           .N 
 Gilts report:        GB/             Euro bond report  GVD/EUR 
 Pan European stock report:  .EU 
 Tokyo stocks:        .T              HK stocks:            .HK 
 Sterling report:     GBP/            Dollar report:       USD/ 
 
 
 * For company prices, click on - *
 Company directory:   UKEQ           By sector:           FTAX  
 
 
 * For pan-European market data, click on - *
 European Equities speed guide................  EUR/EQUITY  
 FTSE Eurotop 300 index...........................  .FTEU3  
 DJ STOXX index...................................  .STOXX  
 Top 10 STOXX sectors........................  .PGL.STOXXS  
 Top 10 EUROSTOXX sectors...................  .PGL.STOXXES  
 Top 10 Eurotop 300 sectors..................  .PGL.FTEU3S  
 Top 25 European pct gainers....................  .PG.PEUR  
 Top 25 European pct losers.....................  .PL.PEUR ))

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