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UPDATE 2-Weaker pound, retail stocks boosts FTSE 100; Mid-caps end best day in two-weeks;

Stock MarketsApr 22, 2021 18:36
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(For a Reuters live blog on U.S., UK and European stock
markets, click LIVE/ or type LIVE/ in a news window)
* Morgan Sindall top mid-cap gainer on raising outlook
* Manufacturers' hopes for an economic strongest in 48 years
* Metro Bank jumps on aim to expand lending tenfold
* FTSE 100 up 0.6%, FTSE 250 adds 1.3%

(Updates to close)
By Devik Jain and Shashank Nayar
April 22 (Reuters) - Britain's FTSE 100 ended higher on
Thursday on higher retail stocks as last week saw a jump in
footfalls and a weaker pound, while mid-caps rose to their best
day in two weeks led by gains in construction company Morgan
Sindall.
The blue-chip FTSE 100 .FTSE ended 0.6% higher, with
retailers .FTNMX404010 gaining nearly 2% as shoppers rushed
rushed back to clothes and furniture stores last week when they
reopened after three months of COVID lockdown
restrictions. The pound GBP= fell 0.6%, erasing the week's gains against
the dollar, as investors weighed up the outlook for an economic
recovery in Britain.
The domestically-focussed mid-cap index .FTMC gained 1.3%,
with construction company Morgan Sindall MGNS.L up 19.6% as
brokerages raised their price targets on the stock after it
raised its annual outlook. “The markets are optimistic about the economic rebound
process as the vaccination drive gathers more ground and there
remains significant upside as there is still a large area until
we get back to pre-COVID levels,” said Michael Baker, an analyst
at ETX Capital.
The FTSE 100 has gained ~7% year-to-date on optimism that
speedy COVID-19 vaccinations and constant policy support from
the government would drive a stronger economic recovery, however
it has largely underperformed its European peers.
British manufacturers' hopes for an economic rebound to
their strongest in 48 years this month as the country began to
recover from the slump caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the
Confederation of British Industry said, further aiding
sentiment. Among other stocks, Russia's Polymetal International
POLYP.L added 2.1% after its first-quarter production grew 3%.
Britain's Metro Bank MTRO.L gained 0.6% on aims to expand
its consumer finance lending tenfold to 2 billion pounds ($2.78
billion), a source familiar with the plan told Reuters, as it
seeks to reverse a sharp downturn in its fortunes in the last
two years.

UPDATE 2-Weaker pound, retail stocks boosts FTSE 100; Mid-caps end best day in two-weeks;
 

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