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FTSE 100 hovers near two-month highs as commodities, banks gain

FTSE 100 hovers near two-month highs as commodities, banks gain 1

By Sruthi Shankar

(Reuters) -Britain’s blue-chip index hovered near two-month highs on Monday, boosted by economically sensitive commodity and banking stocks after upbeat U.S. and Chinese economic data eased worries about recession.

The FTSE 100 gained 0.4% after climbing to its strongest level since June 9 earlier in the session, while the domestically focussed midcap index inched up 0.1%.

Oil majors Shell and BP rose about 0.5% each as crude prices bounced following strong U.S. jobs data and Chinese exports numbers, which picked up unexpectedly in July. [O/R]

Global miners Glencore and Anglo American were up, tracking stronger metal and iron ore prices, while rate-sensitive banks also climbed.[IRONORE/] [MET/L]

“We still remain bullish on oil, banks and mining sectors,” said Alan Custis, portfolio manager for UK equities at Lazard Asset Management, adding that their standpoint was it was not going to be a long and deep recession.

“Most of these sectors have done well so far this year but one can make a strong argument to say that they’re still looking pretty robust for the balance of the year.”

The blue-chip index has outperformed its global peers with a 1.2% gain so far in 2022, as soaring commodity prices boosted mining and oil giants, while banks benefitted from a jump in interest rates.

However, worries about a recession have weighed on the FTSE 250 index, more exposed to the domestic economy. The index is down almost 15% this year.

Investment platform Hargreaves Lansdown jumped 7.4%, extending gains from the previous session when it beat annual profit expectations.

PageGroup Plc fell 9.9% even as the global recruiter reported a 79.3% jump in half-year operating profit.

Joules Group soared 51.5% after the fashion group said it was in talks over a potential equity investment of about 15 million pounds ($18.11 million) from retailer Next Plc.

(Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru;editing by Neha Arora)

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