Miners, energy stocks lead UK stocks higher

Shivani Kumaresan
·2-min read
Pedestrians leave and enter the London Stock Exchange in London

By Shivani Kumaresan

(Reuters) - British stocks rose on Monday, as mining and energy stocks tracked strong gains in commodity prices and investors were hopeful global vaccine rollouts would quicken the economic recovery this year.

The commodity-heavy FTSE 100 was up 2.5%, clocking its best day in over a month, boosted by miners Anglo American, Rio Tinto and BHP Group and oil producers BP and Royal Dutch Shell.

"Government attempts to manage expectations on COVID-19 better are helpful to the market which is now probably pleasantly surprised at just how quickly the UK has vaccinated the most vulnerable sections of its population," said Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell.

"This is making it easier for investors to look through to a reopening of the economy even if the pace at which restrictions are eased remains a topic of fierce debate."

The FTSE 100 has recovered nearly 34% from its March 2020 lows, led by a raft of stimulus measures, but a surge in infections and recent widespread lockdowns have slowed economic growth. The index has also lagged its U.S. and European peers.

England's new COVID-19 hotel quarantine system for arrivals from high-risk countries is running smoothly after it was introduced earlier in the day, the health minister said.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he would plot a "cautious but irreversible" path out of the COVID-19 lockdown, after the vaccination of 15 million people so far in Britain.

The mid-cap FTSE 250 index added 1.8%, reaching over 11 month high, with travel group TUI AG gaining the most.The wider travel and leisure sub-index gained 4.3%.

Britain's housebuilding sector gained 2.1% as a survey showed asking prices for homes unexpectedly rose in January and early February.

In company news, Rolls-Royce rose 3.5% after appointing Panos Kakoullis, the former head of Deloitte's audit and assurance practice, as its new chief financial officer.

Pub operator Mitchells & Butlers jumped 7.9%, after plans to raise 350 million pounds ($486.05 million) through an open offer of shares.

(Reporting by Shivani Kumaresan in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu and Krishna Chandra Eluri)