UPDATE 2-FTSE 100 up on banks and consumer staples for second week of gains

  • Reuters
  • Stock Market News
UPDATE 2-FTSE 100 up on banks and consumer staples for second week of gains
Credit: © Reuters.

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* GDP falls by 2.9% in January from December

* Burberry jumps on upbeat outlook

* AstraZeneca cuts COVID-19 vaccine forecast

* FTSE 100 up 0.4%, FTSE 250 off -0.1% (Updates to close)

By Shivani Kumaresan and Amal S

March 12 (Reuters) - London's FTSE 100 reversed course on Friday and ended a strong week on an upbeat note, with banks and consumer staples leading gains, while data showed the UK economy shrank by less than feared in January.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 index .FTSE ended 0.4% higher on Friday and rose for the second consecutive week, as investors bet on a gradual easing of coronavirus restrictions and a steady vaccination programme to eventually spur growth.

Britain's economy contracted by 2.9% in January from December as the country went back into a lockdown and is likely to shrink by 4% in the first quarter of 2021, official data showed. big message that investors will take from today's GDP figures isn't that there was a fall in January, but that the fall was far less steep than most economists had predicted," said Danni Hewson, analyst at AJ Bell.

Bank stocks, including Barclays PLC BARC.L , HSBC Holdings plc HSBA.L , Lloyds Banking Group LLOY.L and Standard Chartered STAN.L gained between 0.8% and 3.6%, tracking higher U.S. Treasury yields.

A selloff in U.S. debt resumed, with yields on benchmark 10-year notes approaching the one-year highs touched last week. US/

A raft of global stimulus has helped the FTSE 100 rebound more than 37% from its coronavirus-driven crash last year, but it has lagged its European peer, the STOXX 600 index .STOXX , on worries about the economic damage from prolonged lockdowns.

The domestically focused mid-cap FTSE 250 index .FTMC fell 0.1%, dragged down by tech and discretionary consumer stocks.

Luxury group Burberry BRBY.L rose 6.9% to the top of the blue-chip index after recording a strong rebound in sales since December, which it expected to result in a profit for the year to March 27 - beating market forecasts. Plc AZN.L fell 0.9%, after scaling back its planned deliveries of COVID-19 vaccines to the European Union in the first quarter to about 30 million doses, a third of its contractual obligations and a 25% drop from pledges made last month.

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