UK midcaps hit 11-week high on reopening optimism

FILE PHOTO: The London Stock Exchange Group offices are seen in the City of London,

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) – British midcaps hit an 11-week high on Wednesday as hopes of an economic recovery with the easing of coronavirus lockdowns offset concerns about growing political unrest in Hong Kong over Beijing’s proposed national security laws.

The domestically focussed FTSE 250 .FTMC gained 1.2%, rising for an eighth straight session as thousands of retailers prepared to reopen from June 1 from a months-long shutdown that has crushed the UK economy.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 .FTSE added 0.5%, with financials, energy and industrial stocks providing the biggest boosts in early trading.

Doorstep lender Provident Financial Plc (PFG.L) jumped 5.5% as it flagged signs of a modest recovery in May after tighter underwriting rules led to a drop in business volumes in April.

Asset manager St James’s Place (SJP.L) rose 3.2% and was among the biggest gainers on the FTSE 100 after reporting a modest 1% gain in April net inflows.

Reporting by Sagarika Jaisinghani in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty

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