* FTSE 100 ends flat; FTSE 250 up 0.5 pct
* Miners, oil stocks biggest drags
* IWG jumps on sale of Japan business, CS rating hike
* Indivior surges on hopes of a lower U.S. fine
(Adds company news items, updates to closing prices)
By Muvija M
April 15 (Reuters) - Britain's FTSE 100 was at a loss for
direction on Monday as a dip in miners and oil majors offset gains in
bank stocks, while office group IWG pushed midcaps higher after
announcing an asset sale.
The blue-chip index ended a lacklustre session about flat,
lagging its European peers, while the FTSE 250 held on to its
six-month high with a 0.5 percent rise as a stronger pound also aided.
The pound's gains followed upbeat comments from Britain's foreign
minister Jeremy Hunt on talks between the government and the
opposition Labour Party to find a consensus over Brexit.
Miners , which last week scaled seven-year highs, handed back
some of those gains with a 1.5 percent fall, despite a rise in copper
prices as data from China showed higher unwrought copper imports in
Supply concerns and hopes of a U.S.-China trade resolution also
supported metal prices.
CMC Markets analyst David Madden said there did not appear to be
any major shift in sentiment and investors seemed to take their
profits out of metal stocks.
Shell and BP extended losses following a dip in oil prices.
Financial stocks jumped to a six-month high, bolstered by a
read-across from last week's upbeat results from U.S. bellwethers JP
Morgan and Wells Fargo , and strong bank loan data from China.
But the sectoral index pared some gains as quarterly revenues
reported by U.S. big banks Goldman Sachs and Citigroup fell
below Wall Street expectations on Monday.
"Traders will be keeping a close eye on ... whether the
strong start (to U.S. earnings) is able to continue beyond the banking
sector ... right now this is looking unlikely," London Capital
Group analyst Jasper Lawler said.
Compass Group , the world's biggest catering firm, slipped 2.2
percent on its worst day in six months after a Barclays rating cut.
Midcaps saw some strong news-related moves.
Serviced office space provider IWG surged 21.1 percent to a
two-year high after plans to sell its Japanese operations for 320
million pounds and a double upgrade from Credit Suisse on the stock.
After being pummelled last week on U.S. charges over opioid
prescriptions, drugmaker Indivior enjoyed its best day in three
years as brokerage Bernstein suggested that the $3 billion headline
fine had the potential to be reduced.
Shares in Indivior jumped 19.1 percent on the prospect.
Mediterranean-focused Energean Oil & Gas jumped 8.5 percent
to a record high after announcing a new gas discovery at the Karish
North exploration well.
Builder Kier added nearly 8 percent as it said its newly
appointed CEO planned to cut debt and respond to problems affecting
the outsourcing industry.
(Reporting by Yadarisa Shabong and Muvija M in Bengaluru, additional
reporting by Samantha Machado; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)
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