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Financials, commodity stocks boost UK's FTSE 100

Stock Markets May 23, 2022 17:12
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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The London Stock Exchange Group offices are seen in the City of London, Britain, December 29, 2017. REUTERS/Toby Melville

By Sruthi Shankar

(Reuters) -UK's top share index rose on Monday, aided by gains in financials and strength in resource-linked shares, while home improvement retailer Kingfisher (LON:KGF) rose after posting upbeat quarterly results.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 ended 1.7% higher and the domestically oriented FTSE 250 advanced 1.6%, after a volatile week that saw both the indexes mark losses.

Mining and oil & gas sectors rose 2.9% and 2.3% respectively, boosted by higher commodity prices, amid plans to end COVID-19 lockdowns in top metals consumer China and as the U.S. dollar retreated. [O/R][MET/L]

Meanwhile, banks and insurers rose 2.5% and 2.3% respectively.

Adding to the upbeat mood, U.S. President Joe Biden said he was weighing cutting tariffs on Chinese goods.

"It's a bit of a relief rally. The dollar weakening is helping sectors such as resources and oil & gas," Keith Temperton, sales trader at Forte Securities, said.

"We've got a fairly hectic economic diary towards the middle and the end of the week. It wouldn't surprise me if this market faded off quickly."

While the commodity-heavy FTSE 100 has remained resilient over the year, the midcap index has shed close to 14% so far in 2022 on concerns that soaring inflation and tighter monetary policy will tip the economy into a recession.

Asking prices for houses in Britain surged again in May, pushed up by a lack of new homes coming to the market rather than strong demand, which looks set to fade as the cost-of-living crunch tightens, a survey showed.

Shares of Kingfisher climbed 2.2% after the company reported first-quarter sales significantly ahead of its pre-pandemic performance and maintained its full-year outlook.

Ted Baker (LON:TED) fell 0.9% after the fashion chain said private-equity firm Sycamore was no longer part of its sale process, and that it had now received several revised takeover proposals from other parties.

Online greetings card company Moonpig climbed 11.1% to record its best session ever after it agreed to buy Smartbox, a gifting experiences platform, for 124 million pounds ($155.6 million) in cash.

Digital services company Kainos Group jumped 19.3% to the top of FTSE 250 midcap index after posting strong annual results. [nL3N2XF1CL]

Financials, commodity stocks boost UK's FTSE 100

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