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FTSE 100 gains after U.S. eases Huawei sanctions, Galliford jumps

FTSE 100 gains after U.S. eases Huawei sanctions, Galliford jumps
FILE PHOTO: Traders looks at financial information on computer screens on the IG Index trading floor in London, Britain February 6, 2018. REUTERS/Simon Dawson   -   Copyright  SIMON DAWSON(Reuters)
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(Reuters) – Financial stocks with Asian exposure led a recovery in London’s FTSE 100 after the United States eased restrictions on Chinese telecom giant Huawei, while mid-cap builder Galliford Try surged after saying it would cut jobs.

The FTSE 100 was up 0.5% and the FTSE 250 gained 0.7% by 0822 GMT.

Heavyweights HSBC, Prudential and Standard Chartered boosted the blue-chip index as markets hoped that trade tensions between Washington and Beijing would ease.

“While it’s a small measure, it does perhaps symbolise that there might be a reverse gear from the current slide to what could well turn into a full blown trade war,” CMC Markets analyst Michael Hewson said.

The main index also found support in oil majors Shell and BP as escalating U.S.-Iran tensions and expectations that producer club OPEC would continue to withhold supply this year pushed oil prices higher.

Shares of Lloyds and Barclays gained about 1.5% as Tesco’s decision to stop mortgage lending raised the prospect of reduced pressure on margins, due to lesser competition.

On the FTSE 250, Galliford Try climbed 12% after the builder said it would cut up to 350 jobs as its construction business focuses on its core strengths, bringing hopes of improved margins.

Galliford’s update “should be taken well because there are no further incremental contract issues, and because part of the exceptional cost identified in April has a payback through future cost reduction,” Liberum analysts said.

UDG Healthcare scaled a more than eight month high with a 7.6% jump, after the company raised its 2019 adjusted profit forecast.

(Reporting by Shashwat Awasthi in Bengaluru; Editing by Keith Weir)

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