Mining stocks lift FTSE 100 higher, though UK equities log weekly declines

A woman walks past the London Stock Exchange building in the City of London, Britain
A woman walks past the London Stock Exchange building in the City of London, Britain, January 16 , 2017. REUTERS/Toby Melville
  • Kin & Carta cuts FY sales outlook, shares tumble
  • AstraZeneca climbs on positive drug trial results
  • Morgan Stanley turns bullish on Rio Tinto, shares jump
  • Both FTSE indices decline for the week
  • April retail sales up 0.5% vs 0.3% estimate

May 26 (Reuters) - UK's FTSE 100 gained on Friday, with mining stocks in the lead tracking higher metal prices, while global miner Rio Tinto surged after a brokerage upgrade.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 (.FTSE) rose 0.7%, boosted by a 3.5% jump in London-listed shares of Rio Tinto (RIO.L) after Morgan Stanley upgraded its rating to "overweight" from "equal-weight".

Both FTSE indices, however, fell on a weekly basis, with the FTSE 100 down 1.7% and the FTSE 250 off 2.6% over that period.

The broader industrial metals mining sector (.FTNMX551020) climbed 2.5% on the day.

Precious metal miners (.FTNMX551030) added 1.4%, tracking gold prices higher against a softer dollar as traders assessed the progress of the U.S. debt ceiling negotiations.

A U.S. official said the White House and congressional Republicans were aiming to put the final touches on a deal to raise the U.S. government's $31.4 trillion debt ceiling for two years.

Back home, official data showed British consumers picked up the pace of their spending last month and sales volumes over the three months to April grew by the most since mid-2021, suggesting limited impact from surging inflation.

"There's a lot of caution going around about the UK economy and whether consumer spending can hold up," Chris Beauchamp, chief market analyst at IG Group, said .

"It's come under pressure with people's budgets pressured and revived expectations of higher mortgage rates."

UK homebuilders (.FTNMX402020) and retail stocks (.FTNMX404010) continued to selloff, falling 0.8% and 0.5% respectively.

The FTSE 250 midcap index (.FTMC) lost 0.3%, weighed down by a 11.0% drop in cybersecurity company Darktrace (DARK.L).

AstraZeneca (AZN.L) added 1.2% after the drugmaker said a combination of its cancer drugs when added to chemotherapy showed positive results in a late-stage trial in patients with advanced or recurrent endometrial cancer.

Insurer and asset manager M&G (MNG.L) added 3.3% after Morgan Stanley raised its price target on the stock.

Tech firm Kin & Carta PLC (KCT.L) tumbled 9.0% on slashing annual revenue expectations.

Reporting by Johann M Cherian and Shashwat Chauhan in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber, Rashmi Aich and Andrew Heavens

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