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FTSE 100 gains as banks, commodity-linked stocks jump; Entain at record high

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By Reuters
FTSE 100 gains as commodity-linked stocks jump
FTSE 100 gains as commodity-linked stocks jump   -   Copyright  Thomson Reuters 2021

By Shashank Nayar and Amal S

-London’s FTSE 100 recorded its best day in two months on Wednesday, extending gains aided by heavyweight commodity-linked and bank stocks, while investors awaited key central bank meetings for clues on a timeline for tapering policy stimulus.

The FTSE 100 ended 1.5% higher, with banks leading gains after default fears around property giant China Evergrande eased.

“We had a sell-off on the Evergrande fears and now we’ve rallied back. Today’s major Evergrande news has given the market relief, which has pushed banks higher,” said Keith Temperton, sales trader at Forte Securities.

Entain jumped 5.1% to an all-time high after the gambling firm revealed a $22.4 billion takeover proposal from Boston-based DraftKings, which was nearly double a bid it rejected from MGM this year.

Easing lockdowns and travel restrictions coupled with higher commodity prices have helped the FTSE 100 gain 1.7% so far this week to trade above the 7,000 psychological level.

Investors now await the outcome of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s meeting ending later in the day and the Bank of England’s rate decision on Thursday.

“I don’t see the Fed doing anything particularly aggressive just yet, but the language will change, Powell has to actually say something about when taper will start,” Temperton added.

Also among the gainers were Industrial metal miners, up 3.2% as copper prices surged. [METL/]

The domestically focussed mid-cap index climbed 0.7%, with Oxford BioMedica being the biggest gainer on a 50 million pound ($68.24 million) investment from Serum Institute of India..

Gains in travel and leisure stocks also supported the mid-cap index.

Over-50s holidays group Saga Plc dropped 0.1% after it warned there was still uncertainty on the longer-term impact of COVID-19 on the sector.

Imperial Leather soap maker PZ Cussons dropped 4.6% after reporting lower first-quarter revenue.