London stocks inch higher on stimulus, recovery hopes

FILE PHOTO: The London Stock Exchange Group offices are seen in the City of London, Britain, December 29, 2017. REUTERS/Toby Melville/File Photo

(Reuters) – UK shares climbed on Tuesday as hopes of fresh government stimulus to blunt the economic impact of the coronavirus crisis added to optimism about a faster recovery with the easing of a nationwide lockdown.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 .FTSE was up 0.3%, gaining for the fifth session in six, as a report said finance minister Rishi Sunak was considering national insurance holidays for companies as part of a stimulus package to be announced in July.

The mid-cap FTSE 250 .FTMC added 0.4%, hitting its highest in nearly three months, although a broader rally was capped by deepening tensions between Washington and Beijing and U.S. President Donald Trump’s vow to use force to end violent protests in American cities. [MKTS/GLOB]

The UK travel and leisure index .FTNMX5750 jumped 1.2% as a report said the government was aiming to replace coronavirus quarantine for people arriving at airports by the end of June, with so-called air bridges being considered as an option.

Card Factory (CARDC.L) jumped 9.8% as the greeting card retailer signalled it would reopen about 10% of its stores around June 15 even after it said it was unable to give an outlook for the 2021 financial year.

Reporting by Sagarika Jaisinghani in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips

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