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Strong earnings, Vectura boost British midcaps

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* FTSE 100 up 0.2%, FTSE 250 adds 0.5%

May 26 (Reuters) - London’s FTSE 250 index edged higher on Wednesday, boosted by Marks & Spencer and Softcat Plc following positive earnings updates, while Vectura Group topped the mid-cap index after agreeing a takeover by The Carlyle Group.

The domestically focused mid-cap index advanced 0.5%. Vectura Group surged 31.1% and was on track for its best day on record after the pharmaceutical company focused on inhaled medicines agreed a 958 million pound ($1.36 billion) takeover by global investment firm The Carlyle Group.

Marks & Spencer added 5% after the retailer posted a full-year pretax profit before one-off items of 50.3 million pounds, versus analysts’ average forecast of 43 million pounds.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 index rose 0.2%, with specialty chemical maker Croda International climbing 2.6% after Goldman Sachs upgraded the stock to “buy” from “sell”.

Softcat added 4.3% as Jefferies raised its price target on the stock after the IT services and consulting firm said it continued to trade well during the third quarter. (Reporting by Devik Jain in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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