UPDATE 2-FTSE 100 hits three-week high on jobs package, Brexit trade talks

  • Reuters
  • Stock Market News
UPDATE 2-FTSE 100 hits three-week high on jobs package, Brexit trade talks
Credit: © Reuters.

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* British finance minister announces new jobs support plan

* Brexit negotiators say they are inching towards a deal

* UK GDP grows slower-than-expected in August

* FTSE 100 gains 0.7%, FTSE 250 up 0.7% (Updates with closing prices)

By Shashank Nayar

Oct 9 (Reuters) - London's FTSE 100 closed at a three-week high on Friday, as a new jobs support plan and advancements in Brexit talks eclipsed worries about a fresh surge in COVID-19 cases.

British finance minister Rishi Sunak announced his latest programme to stave off a surge in unemployment, offering extra help for businesses and workers who are forced to stop work during local coronavirus lockdowns. the two chief Brexit negotiators said they are inching towards a deal. But they have underscored that important gaps remain on fishing, level playing field issues and governance and both sides have no-deal plans. FTSE 100 index .FTSE climbed for the second consecutive week and ended higher by 0.7%, with mining .FTNMX1770 and oil stocks .FTNMX0530 leading gains. The mid-cap index .FTMC added 0.7% and closed near a two-month high.

Capping gains, however, was a slower-than-expected growth in Britain's economy in August from July and a surge in COVID-19 cases in England. are beginning to enter the bad-news-is-good-news mode, as they feel there is more room left for the UK government to undertake fresh stimulus steps as headline data continue to disappoint," said Roland Kaloyan, a strategist at SocGen.

Higher oil prices, hopes of fresh U.S. stimulus and a more positive tone to Brexit talks have supported the export-heavy blue-chip index over the past two weeks, offsetting worries about the economic damage wreaked by the coronavirus pandemic.

Real estate firm British Land BLND.L rose 3.1% after saying it would resume paying dividends in November and that it was in active talks with tenants on rent payments. ICAP (LON: NXGN ) TCAPI.L , the world's biggest inter-dealer broker, dropped 2.1% after announcing plans to raise about $425 million through a rights issue to buy Liquidnet Holdings for between $575 million and $700 million.

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