By Devik Jain and Amal S
– London’s FTSE 100 index ended higher on Friday, helped by gains in mining and financial stocks, while a record annual jump in domestic economic output in April strengthened views of a stronger recovery from last year’s pandemic-driven disruption.
The blue-chip index rose 0.7%, with precious metal miners and base metal miners jumping 0.7% and 1.8%, respectively, while insurance stocks rose 1.3%.
The index was up 0.95% for the week, its biggest percentage gain since the week ending May 7.
Miners including Rio Tinto, Anglo American, Glencore and BHP rose between 0.1% and 2.88%. [MET/L] [GOL/]
“The metal price is back above $1,900 per ounce and if it can maintain its recent momentum, traders may start to eye last year’s record highs,” said Russ Mould, director at AJ Bell.
The domestically focused mid-cap FTSE 250 index advanced 0.6%.
Official data showed Britain’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic sped up in April as lockdown measures eased, and output was a record 27.6% higher than a year earlier when the virus was rampant.
“Its all very positive and markets are looking to continue to build on it. We were expecting the central banks to make a move against the inflation, but they doesn’t seem to have done that yet and with lower rates, easing of restrictions and more good news coming, sentiments are up at the moment,” said Michael Baker, an analyst at ETX Capital.
British indexes have gained more than 10% so far this year as businesses reopened and speedy vaccine rollouts boosted sentiment about economic recovery.
However, they have traded in a tight range since mid-April on fears of rising inflation and concerns that a recent resurgence in domestic COVID-19 cases might delay a complete economic reopening.
Among other stocks, Sanne Group jumped 8.8% as it decided to enter into talks with Cinven after the private equity firm made a sweetened offer of 1.42 billion pounds ($2.01 billion) to buy the asset management services provider.
Robert Walters added 1.7% after it forecast upbeat annual pre-tax profit.