FTSE 100 rises as miners, energy stocks gain

© Reuters. Pedestrians leave and enter the London Stock Exchange in London

By Shivani Kumaresan

(Reuters) – London’s rose on Monday, as mining and energy stocks tracked strong gains in commodity prices and investors were hopeful global vaccine rollouts would quicken the economic recovery this year.

The commodity-heavy FTSE 100 was up 1.3% by 0911 GMT, boosted by miners Anglo American (LON:), Rio Tinto (LON:) and BHP Group and oil producers BP (LON:) and Royal Dutch Shell (LON:).

“Government attempts to manage expectations on COVID-19 better are helpful to the market which is now probably pleasantly surprised at just how quickly the UK has vaccinated the most vulnerable sections of its population,” said Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell.

“This is making it easier for investors to look through to a reopening of the economy even if the pace at which restrictions are eased remains a topic of fierce debate.”

The FTSE 100 has recovered nearly 34% from its March 2020 lows, led by a raft of stimulus measures, but a surge in infections and recent widespread lockdowns have slowed economic growth. The index has also lagged its U.S. and European peers.

A recent Reuters poll found Britain’s economy will narrowly dodge a double-dip recession and will have returned to pre-COVID-19 levels within two years.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will judge this week how fast England can exit COVID-19 lockdown after vaccinating 15 million of its most vulnerable people.

The mid-cap added 1.1%, gaining for a third straight session.

Britain’s housebuilding sector gained 0.9% as a survey showed asking prices for homes unexpectedly rose in January and early February.

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In company news, Rolls-Royce (LON:) rose 2.3% after appointing Panos Kakoullis, the former head of Deloitte’s audit and assurance practice, as its new chief financial officer.

Pub operator Mitchells & Butlers (LON:) gained 4.7%, after plans to raise 350 million pounds ($486.05 million) through an open offer of shares.

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