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Strong earnings drive FTSE 100 higher; midcaps underperform

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* FTSE 100 up 0.7%, FTSE 250 adds 0.2%

April 29 (Reuters) - London’s FTSE 100 climbed on Thursday, boosted by a series of positive earnings updates from companies, including Smith+Nephew and Unilever, while a fall in shares of WH Smith capped gains on the midcap index.

The blue-chip index rose 0.7% with medical products maker Smith+Nephew jumping 4.6% to the top of the index after it reinstated its 2021 outlook following revenue growth in first quarter.

The index was also supported by Unilever, which rose 3.5% after it beat quarterly sales forecasts, helped by a pick up in home cooking during coronavirus lockdowns and a strong economic recovery in China.

The domestically focused midcap FTSE 250 index advanced 0.2%.

WH Smith slipped 4.6% after it warned of the possible risk of breaching its covenant tests in 2022 and launched a potential 325 million-pound ($450 million) bonds offering as the retailer navigates the COVID-19 pandemic. (Reporting by Devik Jain in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)

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