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Morrisons Lifts London Mid-Caps as Virus Fears Weigh

* FTSE 100 flat, FTSE 250 adds 0.2%

July 5 (Reuters) - British mid-caps rose on Monday, led by gains in heavyweight mining stocks and supermarket chain Morrisons, while investors looked past rising local coronavirus infections as the UK prepared to ease its lockdown.

Morrisons jumped 11% to the top of the mid-cap index after U.S. private-equity firm Apollo Global Management said it was considering a possible offer for the British company, which on Saturday agreed to a 6.3-billion pound takeover from another group.

The domestically-focussed FTSE 250 index rose 0.2%, with base metal miners gaining nearly 1.3%.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will set out plans for the final step of easing lockdown in England on Monday. The remaining legal restrictions are due to be lifted on July 19, with the decision whether to go ahead scheduled for July 12.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 index was flat.

Hipgnosis Songs Fund, the owner of the rights to artists including Neil Young and Shakira, gained 0.7% after it reported a jump in annual earnings and raised its dividend.

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

Source: Reuters

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