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FTSE 100 Rises as Commodity-Linked Stocks Surge on China Demand Hopes

  • Aston Martin jumps after saying profitability to improve
  • Rio Tinto, Glencore top gainers amongst miners
  • Homebuilders down after Persimmon results
  • FTSE 100 up 0.5%, FTSE 250 adds 0.1%

March 1 (Reuters) - UK's FTSE 100 rose on Wednesday, with miners leading the gains as commodity prices surged after data showed manufacturing activity at top metals consumer China expanded at the fastest pace in over a decade.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 gained 0.5%, bouncing from its biggest single-day drop in nearly four weeks in the previous session.

The industrial metal miners index surged 3.7%, set to record its best day since early November.

Metal prices rose after China's manufacturing activity expanded, smashing market expectations after production zoomed following the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions last year.

"If you look back to mid-January, you've seen a steady decline in mining stocks," said Christopher Peters, trading floor manager at Accendo Markets in London. "Some good news and positive data coming out of China today should be boosting the miners."

Energy majors Shell and BP also gained ground, rising about 1% each on higher oil prices.

Reckitt Benckiser gained 0.5% after the Dettol and Lysol cleaning products maker beat full-year like-for-like net revenue expectations.

Persimmon dropped 9.5% to the bottom of the FTSE 100 after the homebuilder warned of lower profit for 2023 and cut its annual dividend by 75%.

Peers Barratt Developments, Taylor Wimpey also declined, taking the household goods and home construction sector down 3.8%.

Data said British house prices last month dropped in annual terms for the first time in nearly three years.

The more domestically focussed FTSE 250 midcap index gained 0.1%, with Aston Martin soaring 12.9% after the luxury carmaker said it expects to turn free cash flow positive in the second half of the year.

Investors will also look out for a speech from Bank of England Governor due later in the day.

Reporting by Shashwat Chauhan in Bengaluru; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips

Source: Reuters

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