UPDATE 2-London stocks gain on sharp rebound in May retail sales, oil boost

  • Reuters
  • Stock Market News
UPDATE 2-London stocks gain on sharp rebound in May retail sales, oil boost
Credit: © Reuters.

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* Retail sales jump 12% in May after crashing in April

* Food & beverage, personal goods stocks lead gains

* BP , Shell track oil prices higher

* Lloyds, Barclays , Royal Bank of Scotland slip

* FTSE 100 up 1.1%, FTSE 250 adds 1% (Adds comments, updates prices to close)

June 19 (Reuters) - London shares rose on Friday as a sharp rebound in retail sales in May bolstered hopes of a swift economic recovery from a pandemic-driven slump, while energy shares tracked a gain in oil prices.

Data on Friday showed retail sales volumes surged by a record 12% in May amid an easing in the nationwide shutdown imposed to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus. and beverage .FTNMX3530 stocks were among the top gainers, and along with personal goods .FTNMX3760 took the mid-cap FTSE 250 .FTMC up 0.8%.

"The retail sales numbers show the economy isn't dead," said Andrea Cicione, strategist at TS Lombard, adding that investors were positioning for second-quarter numbers while keeping an eye on the resurgence in COVID-19 cases globally.

The FTSE 100 .FTSE led gains among European peers, closing up 1.1%. A slide in the pound GBP= also aided gains in internationally focused firms on the blue-chip index. GBP/

As oil prices rose on OPEC+ agreeing to meet supply cut commitments, BP Plc BP.L and Royal Dutch Shell Plc RDSa.L rose 2% and 1%, respectively. O/R

Lenders Lloyds LLOY.L , Barclays BARC.L and Royal Bank of Scotland RBS.L , however, fell after Britain's markets watchdog proposed extending consumer credit payment holidays by three months to support borrowers. FTSE 100 gained 3% on the week, rising for the fourth week in five as optimism globally around increasing business activity overshadowed concerns of further lockdowns.

UK stock markets have joined a global rally following a pandemic-driven crash in March, with the FTSE 100 now less than 20% below its record high, partly aided by historic stimulus.

A survey on Friday showed consumer sentiment recorded its biggest improvement in nearly four years in June. as data showed surging public debt, and given plummeting tax receipts and soaring spending, managing the public accounts remains a daunting challenge for the government, warned Laura Suter, personal finance analyst at AJ Bell.

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