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Retailers, Travel Stocks push FTSE 100 Higher; Next Surges

(Reuters) -London’s FTSE 100 rose on Wednesday, led by retailers and travel stocks, while Next Plc was the top gainer after it raised its profit outlook following robust earnings.

The blue-chip index jumped 1.7%, with Compass Group, International Consolidated Airlines, Whitbread, and AB Foods being among the top gainers. The wider retail sub-index added 3.7% and led the climb among sectoral peers.

The domestically focussed mid-cap index rose 1.6%, boosted by a 3.8% climb in travel and leisure stocks. Cineworld, Carnival, SSP Group, and EasyJet added 5%-10%.

Shares of the British fashion retailer surged 8.9% after it said it had soundly beaten its expectations for full-price sales and, as a result, was increasing its profit forecast.

“Magic is already being spun by the act of re-opening... more journeys, more consumer spend, and a frankly sizzling housing market are adding to the pot,” said Danni Hewson, analyst at AJ Bell.

The FTSE 100 has risen 9.5% so far this year, supported by cheap borrowing costs and optimism around economic re-opening, although a recent jump in COVID-19 cases and higher inflation levels have capped those gains.

A survey showed UK’s economic bounce-back from lockdowns cooled in June despite a surge in business for the country’s hospitality sector, echoing signs that the recovery has lost some of its pace.

Among other stocks, media group Future jumped 8% and was the top boost to the mid-cap index after it said it expects its full-year profitability to be ahead of expectations.

Royal Mail Plc dropped 1.9% to the bottom of the FTSE 100 after it said fewer parcels were being delivered to homes as pandemic restrictions eased across the country, even as it reported a 12.5% rise in first-quarter group revenue.

Reporting by Shashank Nayar in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber and Uttaresh.V

Source: Reuters

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