UPDATE 2-Banks push FTSE 100 higher, while BoE spurs economic hopes

  • Reuters
  • Stock Market News
UPDATE 2-Banks push FTSE 100 higher, while BoE spurs economic hopes
Credit: © Reuters.

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* UK gilt yields hit one-year high

* 888 Holdings jumps on strong earnings

* FTSE 100 up 0.3%, FTSE 250 flat (Updates to close)

By Shivani Kumaresan and Amal S

March 18 (Reuters) - London's FTSE 100 ended higher on Thursday, with bank stocks providing the biggest boost after a spike in treasury yields, while encouraging statements from the Bank of England raised hopes over the short-term economic outlook.

After falling as much as 0.31%, the blue-chip FTSE 100 index .FTSE turned upwards, eventually ending 0.3% higher.

Bank stocks including HSBC Holdings HSBA.L , Standard Chartered STAN.L , Barclays BARC.L were the top boosts to the index as U.S. treasury yields hit 14-month highs on dovish statements from the Federal Reserve. US/

Heavyweight mining stocks including Rio Tinto RIO.L , BHP Group BHPB.L and Anglo American AAL.L gained on higher base metal prices.

The Bank of England said Britain's economic recovery was gathering pace thanks to the speed of COVID-19 vaccinations while its policymakers were split over the prospects for longer-term improvement, dampening speculation about a reversal of stimulus. bankers often like to highlight that the outlook is 'unusually uncertain', but the Monetary Policy Committee is feeling a little more comfortable about the prospects for the economy than at its last meeting six weeks ago," said Hugh Gimber, global market strategist at J.P. Morgan Asset Management.

British 10-year gilt yields GB10YT=RR rose to a one-year high after BoE's statement.

The domestically focused mid-cap FTSE 250 index .FTMC ended flat, with gains in industrials and financials offset by losses in real estate stocks.

A recent rise in treasury yields had hampered an otherwise strong start to the year for UK blue chips, although the midcap index has fared better than its larger peer on hopes of a vaccine-led economic recovery this year.

Gambling group 888 Holdings 888.L rose 4.5%, after posting higher annual adjusted core earnings and signalling strong momentum in 2021 so far, as more people shifted to online betting during coronavirus restrictions. maker Fever-Tree FEVR.L fell 12.3%, despite a better 2021 revenue forecast with at-home drinking catching on and sales at lockdown-hit bars and restaurants expected to gradually gain momentum.

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