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Miners lift FTSE 100 for first time in three days on China stimulus

FILE PHOTO: The London Stock Exchange Group offices are seen in the City of London, Britain, December 29, 2017. REUTERS/Toby Melville

(Reuters) - London’s FTSE 100 index ended higher for the first time in three sessions on Monday as more stimulus in China powered mining stocks, while investors eyed a slate of economic data due later in the week to gauge the pace of a post-pandemic rebound.

The commodity-heavy FTSE 100 .FTSE was up 0.8%, with miners Rio Tinto Plc RIO.L, BHP Group Plc BHPB.L and Anglo American Plc AAL.L adding between 1.7% and 2.4%.

Fresh liquidity from China’s central bank helped investors brush past a delay in a weekend meeting of U.S. and Chinese officials to review their Phase-1 trade pact.

The FTSE 100 has bounced back 24% from a coronavirus-driven crash in March as data signalled a nascent rebound in key sectors such as housing, but a recent surge in COVID-19 infections has made investors cautious about betting on risky assets in the absence of a vaccine.

The mid-cap FTSE 250 .FTMC, reversed earlier declines to close 0.2% higher. Meat processor Cranswick Plc CWK.L boosted the index with a 6.5% jump after it said it expected retail demand to normalise in the rest of the year as more people start dining out. Eating in during lockdowns helped Cranswick's revenue surge 25% in the first quarter.

The mid-cap FTSE 250 .FTMC reversed earlier declines to close 0.2% higher, powered by a 6.5% jump in meat processor Cranswick Plc CWK.L expectations of retail demand to normalise in the rest of the year as more people start dining out, after eating in during lockdowns helped its revenue surge 25% in the first quarter.

After retail sales for July disappointed in both China and the United States last week, investors are awaiting UK figures on Friday. Inflation, consumer confidence and flash readings of business activity surveys are also due this week.

“There is the potential for positive surprises from the retail sales data or the flash PMIs, if the positive impact of restrictions being relaxed can be sustained,” said Ian Williams, economics and strategy analyst at Peel Hunt.

Travel and leisure stocks .FTNMX5750 fell for their fourth straight day after Britain expanded its quarantine list to include France and other countries last week.

Reporting by Sagarika Jaisinghani and Shreyashi Sanyal in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu and Mark Heinrich

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