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FTSE 100 rises as healthcare, resource-linked gains offset China jitters

05/16/2022 | 04:58am EDT
FILE PHOTO: The London Stock Exchange Group offices are seen in the City of London, Britain

(For a Reuters live blog on U.S., UK and European stock markets, click LIVE/ or type LIVE/ in a news window)

* Vodafone jumps as UAE group buys 9.8% stake

* Ryanair slides after flagging 'fragile' recovery

* Weak China data keeps global sentiment in check

* FTSE 100 up 0.6%, FTSE 250 flat

May 16 (Reuters) - UK's blue-chip index rose on Monday, aided by gains in healthcare and resource-linked stocks, though subdued data from China stoked slowdown concerns in the world's second-largest economy and kept sentiment in check.

The FTSE 100 index ended 0.6% higher, with pharmaceutical giants such as AstraZeneca and GlaxoSmithKline and oil majors Shell and BP among top boosts.

Data showed that China's retail and factory activity fell sharply in April as wide COVID-19 lockdowns confined workers and consumers to their homes and severely disrupted supply chains.

"It's no secret that there is some growth downside in China because of the zero-COVID strategy, so continue to expect the negative impact on data," Karim Chedid, head of investment strategy for iShares EMEA at BlackRock, said.

"The question is whether we've already seen the worst impact of the data."

Big miners including Glencore and Antofagasta rose along with industrial metal prices as China, the world's top metals consumer, set out plans to ease COVID-19 restrictions.

Consumer companies Unilever and Reckitt Benckiser were the biggest drags on the FTSE 100.

The domestically focussed midcap index ended flat.

Vodafone jumped 1.9% after telecoms group e& bought a 9.8% stake in the company for $4.4 billion.

Ryanair fell 0.2% after the airlines group said it was impossible to give a detailed forecast beyond hoping to return to "reasonable profitability" this year amid uncertainties over COVID-19 and the Ukraine war.

Technical products and services provider Diploma slid 5.7% after first-half results.

British baker and fast food chain Greggs slipped 0.5% after it said cost pressures were increasing as it reported a rise in first-quarter sales.

Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey said he was "not at all happy" about the surge in inflation in Britain but added that he did not think the central bank could have done anything differently to prevent it. (Reporting by Sruthi Shankar and Amal S in Bengaluru; Editing by Aditya Soni, Rashmi Aich and Andrew Heavens)

© Reuters 2022
Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
ANTOFAGASTA PLC 3.73% 1057.5 Delayed Quote.-23.83%
ASTRAZENECA PLC 2.00% 11022 Delayed Quote.24.04%
BLACKROCK, INC. 0.65% 620.72 Delayed Quote.-32.20%
BP PLC 1.90% 380.3244 Delayed Quote.12.74%
DIPLOMA PLC 3.27% 2278 Delayed Quote.-34.74%
EURO / DIRHAM (EUR/AED) -0.83% 3.7366 Delayed Quote.-8.32%
FTSE 100 1.74% 7149.4 Delayed Quote.-4.86%
FTSE MID 250 INDEX 1.37% 18566.44 Delayed Quote.-22.00%
GLENCORE PLC 2.71% 411.05 Delayed Quote.6.68%
GREGGS PLC 2.95% 1886 Delayed Quote.-45.16%
GSK PLC 0.30% 1791.6 Delayed Quote.11.20%
LONDON BRENT OIL -0.60% 104.47 Delayed Quote.46.07%
RECKITT BENCKISER GROUP PLC 2.16% 6350 Delayed Quote.-1.99%
RYANAIR HOLDINGS PLC 3.23% 11.65 Real-time Quote.-26.00%
SHELL PLC 0.87% 2033.79 Delayed Quote.24.06%
UNILEVER PLC 1.60% 3864.5 Delayed Quote.-3.66%
US DOLLAR / DIRHAM (USD/AED) 0.00% 3.6727 Delayed Quote.0.00%
VODAFONE GROUP PLC 0.22% 127.34 Delayed Quote.12.95%
WTI -1.08% 100.461 Delayed Quote.46.49%
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