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FTSE 100 ends higher as miners track gains in commodity prices

Reuters logo Reuters 8/04/2021 By Devik Jain
FILE PHOTO: The London Stock Exchange offices in the City of London, Britain © Reuters/Toby Melville FILE PHOTO: The London Stock Exchange offices in the City of London, Britain

By Devik Jain

(Reuters) -London's FTSE 100 climbed on Thursday supported by gains in heavyweight mining and banking stocks, while Johnson Matthey shares jumped as the company began a strategic review of its health business.

The blue-chip index rose 0.08%, according to Yahoo Finance, with Johnson Matthey, up 3.2%, among the biggest gainers on the index.

Mining stocks rose, with Anglo American gaining 1.6% on its plans to spin off its thermal coal assets in South Africa.

The domestically focussed mid-cap FTSE 250 index edged 0.06% lower, after a record high in the previous session.

Globally, investor sentiment was upbeat after the Federal Reserve underlined its commitment to keeping policy super loose even as the U.S. economy enjoys a rapid recovery. [MKTS/GLOB]

"We're now looking at Brexit in the rearview mirror... it's fair to say that the stars are aligning to what has been a very positive year to date," said Richard Hunter, head of markets at Interactive Investor.

"There seems to be some resurgence of international institutional interest in the UK (as) FTSE 100 has been in the doldrums for some years now and it has a lot of catching up to do."

FTSE 100 has logged strong gains so far this year on the back of speedy vaccine rollouts, global stimulus and optimism about an improving economic environment.

British companies sharply stepped up hiring and offered higher pay to new staff last month as they grew more confident about an economic recovery and prepared for COVID-19 restrictions to ease, a recruiters body said on Thursday.

Among other stocks, Lookers jumped 14.1% after the auto retailer forecast 2021 underlying profit before tax to be materially ahead of analysts' estimates.

(Reporting by Devik Jain in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta and Shailesh Kuber)

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