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* UK first in the world to approve Pfizer vaccine
* British minister says no-deal Brexit possible
* G4S jumps after Canada's GardaWorld increases offer
* FTSE 100 up 1.2%, FTSE 250 up 0.2%
Dec 2 (Reuters) - The exporter-laden FTSE 100 index jumped
on Wednesday as the sterling weakened on doubts of whether a
trade deal could be reached by Britain and the European Union,
while the UK's approval of a COVID-19 vaccine also supported
The index gained 1.2%, while the domestically
focussed mid-cap FTSE 250, considered a barometer for
Brexit sentiment, only edged up 0.2%.
"The FTSE 100's ascent continues, helped today by a reversal
in the sterling strength... It is not hard to guess the cause of
this change, as Brexit talks drag on without any sign of
progress and the rhetoric from some European capitals becomes
increasingly more strident," said Chris Beauchamp, chief market
analyst at IG.
Brexit negotiations remained stuck with only weeks left for
Britain's transition agreement to expire. A senior British
minister said there was still a chance of a no-deal Brexit as
talks had snagged on fishing, governance rules and dispute
The FTSE 100 had rallied more than 12% in November, marking
its best month in 31 years, as major global drugmakers announced
that their vaccine candidates were effective in preventing
COVID-19, sparking hopes of a faster economic rebound next year.
Britain became the first country to approve Pfizer's
COVID-19 vaccine, in the race to begin the most crucial mass
inoculation programme in history with a shot tested in
wide-scale clinical trials.
Coronavirus-related restrictions have hit business activity
and weighed on UK stock markets in recent weeks.
In company news, security group G4S jumped 7.4%
after Canada's GardaWorld raised its offer for the British
company, valuing it at 3.68 billion pounds ($4.94 billion).
Stock Spirits Group surged 11.7% after posting a
higher annual core profit and proposing a special dividend on
Wednesday as people stuck at home due to COVID-19 chose its
(Reporting by Shivani Kumaresan and Shreyashi Sanyal in
Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta and Shailesh Kuber)