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Oil drives UK stocks up as relief bounce spills over from U.S.

Oil drives UK stocks up as relief bounce spills over from U.S.
FILE PHOTO: Traders work at their desks whilst screens show market data at CMC Markets in London, Britain, December 13, 2018. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls -
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HENRY NICHOLLS(Reuters)
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(Reuters) – British shares gained some ground on Friday, edging away from multi-year lows as relief spilled over from the United States where stocks sprang back on Thursday following steep losses for much of the day.

The FTSE 100 <.FTSE> rose 1.1 percent and the FTSE 250 <.FTMC> was 0.8 percent higher by 0822 GMT, with just two more trading days left in the year. All sectors were in positive territory in early deals.

Both indexes had sunk to their lowest in more than two years in the previous session with the mid-cap bourse closing just shy of confirming a bear market over concerns about the global economy.

Oil majors BP <BP.L> and Shell <RDSa.L> rose 2 percent and 2.1 percent respectively on the back of higher oil prices, making them the biggest boost to the main index.

Britain’s mid-cap index, which is more exposed to uncertainties at home, was aided by strength in industrials and bank shares.

In a surprising turn of events, U.S. stocks sprung back to end in positive territory on Thursday after heavy losses for most of the day.

But with a U.S. government shutdown ongoing, there was not much cause for optimism.

Persisting worries over a slowdown in the global economy compounded by the Beijing-Washington trade spat have put U.S. bourses and their UK counterparts on course for their worst yearly losses since the 2008 financial crisis.

Among a handful of stocks in the red, Xaar <XAR.L>, which makes ink jets for printers, was the biggest loser on the small-cap index <.FTSC> with a 15.2 percent slide after cutting its revenue forecast for the year.

(Reporting by Muvija M and Shashwat Awasthi in Bengaluru, Editing by Helen Reid)

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