FTSE 100 opens with slim gains as new 19 curbs worry investors



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* Both FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 rise 0.1%

Dec 9 (Reuters) - UK shares inched higher on Thursday after a clutch of positive earnings reports, but worries about the impact of tougher COVID-19 restrictions in England kept sentiment in check.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 .FTSE gained 0.1% at 0806 GMT, with drugmaker AstraZeneca AZN.L up 1.3% after the U.S. regulators authorized the use of its antibody cocktail to prevent COVID-19 infections in individuals with weak immune systems.

Stay-at-home stocks such as gaming operator Flutter Entertainment Plc FLTRF.L rose 0.5% after British Prime Minister Boris Johnson imposed tougher COVID-19 restrictions in England on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, British Airways owner IAG ICAG.L fell 1.6% and EasyJet EZJ.L dropped 2.3%, keeping travel stocks under pressure.

The domestically focussed mid-cap index .FTMC gained 0.1%.

Cardboard maker DS Smith SMDS.L jumped 2.4% after posting an 80% surge in first-half profit, declaring a higher interim dividend and reassuring investors that supply chains have remained secure.

Infrastructure company Balfour Beatty BALF.L gained 1.9% after doubling its revenue in the first-half of 2021.

Sportswear and fashion group Frasers FRAS.L jumped 5.9% after reporting a 61.7% rise in first-half core earnings, driven by the strong reopening of stores after COVID lockdowns.
Reporting by Bansari Mayur Kamdar in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila

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