Mining, healthcare stocks boost FTSE 100 as economy strengthens

FILE PHOTO: People walk through the lobby of the London Stock Exchange in London, Britain August 25, 2015. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett/File photo

(Reuters) – London’s FTSE 100 index edged higher on Friday, helped by gains in mining and healthcare stocks, while a record annual jump in domestic economic output in April strengthened views of a stronger recovery from the pandemic-driven disruption last year.

The blue-chip index rose 0.3%, with precious metal miners and base metal miners jumping 2% and 1.4%, respectively.

Pharmaceutical stocks also rose, with AstraZeneca leading the gains.

The domestically focused mid-cap FTSE 250 index advanced 0.3%.

The UK economy in April was a record 27.6% larger than 12 months before, official data showed, an increase that reflects recent reopening and the scale of disruption to everyday life early in the COVID-19 pandemic. In April alone, output rose by 2.3%, marking the fastest growth since July.

Among other stocks, Sanne Group jumped 11.5% as the asset management services provider said it was in talks with Cinven after the private-equity firm made a sweetened offer of 875 pence per share to buy the company.

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