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FTSE 100 Modestly Higher After Solid Data

U.K. stocks were modestly higher on Wednesday as investors digested positive data from China and the U.K.

The latest survey from Caixin showed the manufacturing sector in China continued to expand in June, and at a faster rate, with a manufacturing PMI score of 51.2, up from 50.7 in May.

The IHS Markit/CIPS U.K. manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) rose to 50.1 from 40.7 in May, unrevised from a preliminary reading.

The benchmark FTSE 100 was up 10 points, or 0.2 percent, at 6,180 after declining 0.9 percent on Tuesday.

John Laing Group shares plunged 10 percent. The environmental asset investment vehicle said it expects first half NAV, before deducting dividends, to show a single digit decline.

Aerospace and defense company Babcock International Group jumped 4.5 percent. The company has announced the appointment of David Lockwood as CEO, succeeding Archie Bethel, who announced earlier his intention to retire.

Smith & Nephew surged over 5 percent. The medical equipment manufacturing company said it expects a second quarter underlying revenue decline of around 29 percent.

J Sainsbury was marginally higher after it reported first-quarter grocery sales growth of 10.5 percent, driven by very strong online growth.

Aerospace, defense and energy company Meggitt rallied 2.7 percent. The company has sold its US subsidiary, Meggitt Training Systems, to a US private investment firm Pine Island Capital Partners LLC, for $146 million in cash.

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