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London stocks gain after BoE extends stimulus programme

(For a Reuters live blog on U.S., UK and European stock markets, click LIVE/ or type LIVE/ in a news window)

* FTSE 100 up 0.6%, FTSE 250 adds 0.6%

Nov 5 (Reuters) - London stocks rose on Thursday after the Bank of England extended a stimulus programme to cushion Britain’s struggling economy, as it goes into a second coronavirus lockdown. The blue-chip FTSE 100 index added 0.6% with bank and homebuilding stocks among the biggest gainers, while the domestically focused mid-cap FTSE 250 gained 0.6%.

The BoE raised the size of its already huge asset purchase programme by a further 150 billion pounds ($195 billion) and said it expects Britain’s economy to shrink by 11% in 2020, more severe than the 9.5% contraction it had forecast in August.

Finance minister Rishi Sunak is set to speak later in the day, with a report saying the government will extend its pandemic bailout schemes even after the lockdown ends on December 2.

Auto distributor Inchcape Plc jumped 5.5% after it reported a better-than-expected third quarter and forecast its second half to be ahead of market view, helped by pent-up demand for new and used cars. (Reporting by Devik Jain in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)