London's FTSE 100 ends higher, Hochschild keeps mid-caps in the red

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 closed higher on Wednesday as the exporter-heavy index benefited from a slightly weaker pound, while a drop in Hochschild Mining’s share put pressure on the mid-cap FTSE 250.

The London blue chip index .FTSE ended 0.6% higher, with shares in British Airways-owner IAG ICAG.L jumping 7.6% after the British government said it was working with London's Heathrow Airport to shorten quarantine.

The market also benefited from the record run on Wall Street, where the S&P 500 .SPX and Nasdaq .IXIC indexes hit all-time highs on Wednesday while awaiting minutes from U.S. Federal Reserve's meeting later in the day.

The mid-cap FTSE 250 .FTMC was down 0.2%, with precious metals miner Hochschild Mining Plc HOCM.L slumping 8.3% as it reported lower revenue for the first half of the year.

Shares in Primark-owner Associated British Foods ABF.L gained 1.9% as consumer price inflation jumped last month to its highest rate since March, with clothing stores refraining from their usual summer discounts after reopening from lockdowns.

“Today’s inflation release shows that prices in the UK are certainly bouncing again,” said Jai Malhi, global market strategist at J.P. Morgan Asset Management.

“At this stage we doubt this will prevent the Bank of England providing further support to the economy but if these upside surprises continue, it may add some hesitancy.”

Meanwhile, Morrison MRW.L shares gained 1.2% after it listed its products on Amazon for same-day delivery. Tesco's TSCO.L shares were down 0.3% on negative read-across.

Persimmon PSN.L shares fell 2.5% as the company said the chief executive officer of bus company National Express Group NEX.L, Dean Finch, will take up the top job at the homebuilder earlier than envisaged.

Reporting by Joice Alves in London, Sagarika Jaisinghani and Shreyashi Sanyal in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V/Shailesh Kuber/Jane Merriman