April 1, 2019 / 7:58 AM / 6 months ago

FTSE 100 lifted by mining, bank shares; easyJet drags down airlines

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* FTSE 100 up 0.6 pct

* FTSE 250 up 0.7 pct

* EasyJet slumps on bleak trading update

* IAG, Ryanair also fall in response

* Miners, banks top boosts to main index

April 1 (Reuters) - London’s main index rose on Monday as mining companies gained on upbeat data from China and progress in U.S.-Sino trade talks, though easyJet’s weak trading update pulled down airline stocks.

The FTSE 100 climbed 0.6 percent by 0826 GMT. The more domestically focussed FTSE 250 rose 0.7 percent.

Mining shares jumped 2 percent to a 10-month high as base metals prices rose, including nickel. Data suggested that stimulus measures in China, the world’s biggest nickel consumer, are boosting the economy.

Trade progress also helped shares in HSBC and luxury brand Burberry.

“The trade deal is going very well,” U.S. President Donald Trump had said on Friday. Trade talks between the world’s two largest economies is set to resume this week.

However, the Brexit conundrum continued, with parliament set to vote on different Brexit options later in the day. The default remained for the UK to fall out of the European Union without a deal on April 12.

All sectors of the FTSE 100 had risen, with WPP, the world’s biggest advertising group, leading the gains after a Deutsche Bank rating upgrade.

Among a handful of blue-chip losers was easyJet, which slumped 7 percent after it flagged “softness” in ticket pricing, as Brexit uncertainties led to weaker customer demand.

EasyJet’s cautious tone brought down shares in British Airways owner IAG and the London-listed shares of Ryanair by 2 percent and 5 percent respectively.

Struggling retailer Debenhams also slumped 7 percent after sportswear group Sports Direct said other shareholders in the department store group expressed their support for appointing Mike Ashley as Debenhams CEO.

Among midcaps, Royal Mail added 3 percent after brokerage Berenberg upgraded the stock to “hold”. (Reporting by Yadarisa Shabong, editing by Larry King)

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