Londons FTSE 100 was set to record a weekly gain of 1 on Friday, after falling for three consecutive weeks, as corporate earnings improved and faster vaccine rollouts supported optimism around a quicker pace of economic revival.
The bluechip FTSE 100 index rose 0.1 on Friday with banks and travel stocks being the top gainers. The midcap index rose 0.6.
The vaccine rollout is still going very well so that is probably an underlying positive for UK markets at the moment, said Connor Campbell, a financial analyst at SpreadEx.
However, signs of any delay or slowdown in the pace of the vaccine rollouts will be a huge obstacle in the coming weeks or months.
Progress in vaccine distributions and expectations of a large stimulus by U.S. President Joe Bidens administration helped global markets trade near their record highs and kept the FTSE 100 index on pace to post gains of 1.06 this week.
The bluechip index, which mostly has exportoriented and commodity stocks, has rebounded from early2021 losses to trade up 0.8 this year.
Bank stocks rose nearly 1 on Friday after the Bank of England gave lenders at least six months breathing space on Thursday before negative interest rates are a possibility, focusing instead on the prospects of a postlockdown rebound.
The top gainer on the midcap index was Insurer Beazley , up 12.5, after the company said it was confident of returning to profitability in 2021.
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