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UK's FTSE 100 nears 4-1/2-Y High on Banking, Consumer Boost

  • FTSE 100 adds 0.1%, FTSE 250 rises 0.2%
  • FTSE 100 index set for record high
  • UK inflation, labour market data in focus
  • Lender Amigo tanks to 10-month low

Jan 16 (Reuters) - UK's export-oriented FTSE 100 hovered near 4-1/2-year highs on Monday, underpinned by banks and consumer staples, while investors looked ahead to a week dotted with release of key domestic economic data including inflation print.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 edged 0.1% higher, extending a bull run and leaving it less than 1% away from record highs. The mid-cap FTSE 250 added 0.2%.

Consumer staples such as Diageo and British American Tobacco were among top gainers, adding 0.4% and 0.8%, respectively. Banks added support with a 0.4% jump.

Among individual stocks, Marks & Spencer rose 0.4% on a media report of plans to open 20 new stores creating 3,400 jobs throughout Britain.

"Investors appear to have fallen back in love with UK assets," said Susannah Streeter, senior investment and markets analyst, Hargreaves Lansdown.

"Confidence has rebounded as investors eye China's reopening."

However, not all were gainers. Shares of Amigo tumbled 23% after the sub-prime lender said it had failed so far to find a cornerstone investor for a planned capital raise, putting the future of the company in doubt.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 index hovered near four-year highs in the past week, but its resilience will be tested as a string of economic data rolls out soon.

"Inflation and labour market data will be in focus ahead of the Feb. 2 Bank of England (BoE) meeting after Friday's upside surprise in GDP numbers, which signalled the country may avoid a technical recession as of Q4 2022," said strategists led by Jim Reid at Deutsche Bank.

BoE Governor Andrew Bailey and other central bank officials are expected to speak at 1500 GMT on the central bank's response to the market mayhem that occurred last autumn.

Trading volumes are expected to be thin due to the Martin Luther King Day holiday in the United States.

Reporting by Johann M Cherian in Bengaluru; Editing by Eileen Soreng and Sherry Jacob-Phillips

Source: Reuters

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