UPDATE 1-FTSE 100 gains on sterling slide; Brexit deadlock unbroken

(Adds company news items, quote, updates share prices) * FTSE 100 up 0.7 pct * FTSE 250 up 0.4 pct * May’s bid to quit fails to break Brexit deadlock * Tobacco giants up on rating upgrade * Mitie slumps on trading statement March 28 () – Britain’s top share index bounced on Thursday, helped by exporters, after the pound fell following more bad Brexit news for Prime Minister Theresa May, while miners and tobacco firms also gained. The FTSE 100, which earns more than two-thirds of its earnings in U.S. dollars, jumped 0.7 percent – its biggest one-day rise in a week – and the FTSE 250 added 0.4 percent by 0900 GMT. Sterling came under renewed pressure after May failed to sway hardline opponents of her European Union divorce deal with an offer to quit, while none of eight indicative options to break the Brexit deadlock won majority support in parliament. “We are now at the stage that MPs have shown that they don’t want to vote to leave, but also don’t want to vote to stay. It’s turning into more a case of Little Britain than Great Britain,” said CMC Markets analyst Michael Hewson. But the UK main index outperformed its European counterpart as gains were across the board with all but one sector in the positive territory. International companies, which typically gain from weakness in the local currency, were the biggest boosts with pharmaceutical giants AstraZeneca and GlaxoSmithKline both up over 1 percent. Tobacco giant Imperial Brands advanced 2.5 percent and British American Tobacco climbed 2 percent, with a trader citing rating upgrades by brokerage Citi on both stocks. Chemicals group Johnson Matthey added 2 percent after securing a site in Poland to produce ultra-high energy battery materials and a 10-year supply deal with Canada’s Nemaska Lithium. Asia-exposed luxury brand Burberry edged 2 percent higher and miners saw their fourth straight session of gains after a report that U.S.-China trade talks have made progress in all areas under discussion. But weighing on the index were asset manager Schroders and Prudential, which dipped on ex-dividend trading. The small-cap index also underperformed with some steep news-related moves. Outsourcer Mitie slumped 8 percent after a warning that the company’s order book was set to weaken as clients steered away from entering longer term contracts. The dip placed Mitie on course for its worst day since last September. Britain’s largest listed funeral services provider Dignity dipped 3.1 percent after the country’s competition watchdog launched an investigation into the sector. Debenhams tanked 18 percent to 2.3 pence after the retailer said its bondholders agreed to change the terms of some of their bonds, a move that could rebuff a bid from Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct and wipe out shareholders. (Reporting by Muvija M and Yadarisa Shabong in Bengaluru Editing by Gareth Jones and Raissa Kasolowsky)Our Standards:The Thomson Trust Principles.