Industrial, financial stocks lift London's FTSE 100

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People walk through the lobby of the London Stock Exchange in London, Britain November 30, 2015. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett

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  • GDP +1.1% in Q3 revised down from +1.3%
  • Gyroscope parent Syncona Ltd jumps on deal with Novartis
  • FTSE 100 up 0.6%, FTSE 250 adds 1.1%

Dec 22 (Reuters) - UK's FTSE 100 ended higher on Wednesday as gains in industrial and financial stocks helped counter concerns over the impact of the Omicron coronavirus variant on economic recovery and weaker-than-expected quarterly growth data.

After falling as much as 0.33%, the blue-chip FTSE 100 index (.FTSE) reversed course to ended 0.6% higher. Industrial (.FTNMX502050) and financials (.FTNMX303010) gained 1.1% and 0.8% respectively.

While the domestically focussed mid-cap index (.FTMC) added 1.1% with the travel and leisure sector (.FTNMX405010) among the top gainers.

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Data showed Britain's economy grew slower than expected in the July-September period, before the Omicron variant posed a threat to economic recovery. read more

"The chances of (FTSE 100) surpassing 7,500 in the remaining sessions have categorically lessened as subdued macroeconomic data is likely to fuel the jittery (sentiment)," said Kunal Sawhney, chief executive officer at Kalkine Group, adding that investors could be on a lookout for bargain deals.

The British government said that from Wednesday it was reducing the COVID-19 self-isolation period to seven days from 10 days for people in England who get a negative result on a lateral flow test two days in a row. read more

Britain on Tuesday announced 1 billion pounds ($1.3 billion) of additional support for businesses hit hardest by the wave of Omicron cases, with hospitality and leisure businesses eligible for grants of up to 6,000 pounds for each of their premises. read more

"In this busy period and run up to Christmas, this doesn't seem like a huge amount," said Bethany Beckett, UK Economist at Capital Economics.

The UK travel and leisure sector is among the worst performers this year, down 8.8% so far this year, compared with a near 26% rise in commodity stocks including energy (.FTNMX601010) and industrial metal miners (.FTNMX551020).

Healthcare investment firm Syncona Ltd (SYNCS.L) jumped 5.5% after saying that Swiss drugmaker Novartis AG (NOVN.S) is buying its Gyroscope Therapeutics for up to $1.5 billion. read more

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Reporting by Bansari Mayur Kamdar and Amal S in Bengaluru; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi and David Evans

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