United Kingdom

UK's FTSE 100 at 20-month highs after Reckitt forecast lift

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Signage is seen outside the entrance of the London Stock Exchange in London, Britain. Aug 23, 2018. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

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  • Premier Inn-owner expects travel to rebound
  • THG slides 20% after trading update
  • FTSE 100 up 0.8%, FTSE 250 adds 1.0%

Oct 26 (Reuters) - London's FTSE 100 rose for a third straight session on Tuesday, boosted by consumer goods company Reckitt Benckiser after it lifted its sales forecast, while the global mood was buoyed by record highs on Wall Street indexes.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 index (.FTSE) rose 0.8% to hit a high since February 2020 after S&P 500 (.SPX) notched a record high.

Lysol cleaning products maker Reckitt Benckiser (RKT.L) jumped 6.3% after it raised its full-year forecast as higher sales of cold and flu remedies and price hikes helped it beat analysts' estimates for third-quarter sales. read more

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E-commerce group THG (THG.L) fell 20.5% after it posted a mixed finiancial results and named an executive from backer SoftBank (9984.T) to its board and is seeking an independent chair. read more

Premier Inn-owner Whitbread (WTB.L) climbed 4.4 after reporting a much smaller half-year loss and saying that it expected a full recovery by 2022.

While record-low interest rates and easing of pandemic restrictions have aided FTSE 100's 12.4% recovery this year, the index has underperformed its European (.STOXX) and U.S. peers (.SPX) due to a large presence of volatile commodity stocks.

"Strong corporate results are helping with sentiment. Tomorrow's Budget in the UK and Thursday's European Central Bank meeting may help return the wider economy to the forefront of investors’ minds," said Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell. "Whether this will be supportive or have a negative impact on markets remains to be seen."

With expectations of an interest rate hike next month running high, a Bank of England rate-setter Silvana Tenreyro said on Monday she saw no urgency to raise rates, adopting a different approach than Governor Andrew Bailey who signalled last week that the BoE would act to contain inflation risks. L8N2RL4BP

The domestically focussed mid-cap index (.FTMC) advanced 1.0, helped by gains in consumer discretionary stocks.

IT services and consulting firm Softcat Plc (SCTS.L) slid -1.4% after reporting full-year earnings. read more

BT (BT.L) gained 6.3% to the top of the FTSE 100 index on reports that the company has hired boutique advisory group Robey Warshaw to strengthen its defences against a possible takeover bid. read more

Meanwhile, Entain (ENT.L) fell 6.2% after betting firm DraftKings (DKNG.O) walked away from a $22 billion attempt to buy the gambling group. read more

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Index still underperforms European Stocks
Reporting by Bansari Mayur Kamdar and Amal S; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu and Uttaresh.V and Angus MacSwan

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