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British Stocks Gain as UK Set to Reopen next Week

(Reuters) - London’s FTSE 100 gained on Friday, boosted by optimism about economic re-opening, but the index was set to post a weekly loss on weakness in energy and travel stocks.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 index rose 0.4%, with retailers Unilever and Diageo being the top boost. The index was set to end the week 1.1% lower, led by a 4.4% weekly drop in energy stocks and 6.6% fall in travel stocks.

The domestically-focussed mid-cap index gained 0.4%, lifted by low-cost air carriers Wizz Air and EasyJet, and tourism group TUI, as Britain was set to ease all lockdown restrictions from Monday.

Britain’s economy will expand rapidly this quarter as additional coronavirus-related restrictions are lifted and further pent-up demand is unleashed, a Reuters poll found, but growth is at risk from new variants of COVID-19.

Burberry dropped 0.9% even after it said it had made an “excellent start” to its new year, with full-price sales accelerating and strong growth in leather goods and outerwear.

Reporting by Shashank Nayar in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V

Source: Reuters

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