(For a Reuters live blog on U.S., UK and European stock markets, click LIVE/ or type LIVE/ in a news window)
* Activist investor buys multi-billion pound stake in GSK - report
* Entain gains as quarterly online net revenue jumps
* Travis Perkins rises on 17% growth in Q1 like-for-like sales
* FTSE 100 up 0.6%, FTSE 250 adds 0.5% (Updates to close)
By Devik Jain and Shashank Nayar
April 15 (Reuters) - London's FTSE 100 ended higher on Thursday on the back of gains in healthcare heavyweight GlaxoSmithKline and mining stocks, while hopes of a faster economic recovery lifted the mid-cap index to record highs.
The blue-chip index .FTSE rose 0.6%, with GlaxoSmithKline GSK.L advancing 5% to become the top gainer after the European Medicines Agency said it was reviewing available data on the use of the company's monoclonal antibody to treat COVID-19 patients. gains also came after a report that activist hedge fund Elliott Management took a multi-billion pound stake in the British pharmaceutical firm GSK.L . and base metal miners .FTNMX551030 .FTNMX551020 added 2.6% and 1.3%, respectively, as they benefited from higher metal and gold prices. MET/L GOL/
"I think it's only a matter of time when the FTSE breaches the 7,000 mark," said Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC (NS: CMC ) Markets.
"The catalyst for the game is pretty decent macro numbers out of the U.S., while there is exuberance in minds of the investors with regard to economic recovery and the reopening trade."
The domestically focussed mid-cap FTSE 250 index .FTMC climbed 0.5%, led by gains in consumer discretionary and industrial stocks.
Britain's biggest building materials seller Travis Perkins TPK.L gained 2.2% and was one of the biggest boosts to the mid-cap index after it said its first-quarter like-for-like sales, excluding the Wickes unit, rose 17.4%. FTSE 100 has gained 8.1% so far this year as investors bet that speedy vaccine rollouts, policy support from the government and businesses reopening would fuel a stronger economic rebound from the pandemic-driven crash.
British gambling group Entain ENT.L gained 1.1% after its quarterly online net revenue jumped 33%, even as shop closures hit its total net gaming revenue.
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