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STOCKS NEWS EUROPE-UK small cap index rises 0.3 percent

The FTSE Small Cap index closes up 0.3 percent, outperforming the blue-chip FTSE 100 which fell 0.2 percent, while the FTSE 250 mid-cap index added 0.2 percent.

Among the gainers, African-focused investment company Lonrho rises 4.9 percent after investment bank Jefferies begins its coverage of the stock with a "buy" rating.

Jefferies writes in a research note that Lonrho's agribusiness has strong potential for growth.

"It is already the group's largest unit, strong organic sales growth is starting to build, a base of global blue chip retailers has been attracted and key relationships are deepening. Divisional profitability is now responding. We expect the unit to be the primary driver of the group's financials and consider this the most scalable unit currently across the group," writes Jefferies

Gardening supplies group William Sinclair falls 7.7 percent after issuing a profit warning and adding that its chief executive will step down.

Reuters messaging rm://sudip.kargupta.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net

Keywords: MARKETS EUROPE STOCKSNEWS