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UPDATE 1-FTSE 100 set to record weekly gains on earnings, vaccine optimism; Beazley jumps

· 02/05/2021 04:21
UPDATE 1-FTSE 100 set to record weekly gains on earnings, vaccine optimism; Beazley jumps

Insurer Beazley gains after assuring 2021 profitability

Fashion retailer French Connection surges on takeover talks

FTSE 100 up 0.1%, FTSE 250 adds 0.6%

Updates prices, adds comment

By Shashank Nayar and Amal S

- London's 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 blue-chip FTSE 100 index .FTSE rose 0.1% on Friday with banks .FTNMX8350 and travel .FTNMX5750 stocks being the top gainers. The mid-cap index .FTMC 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 Biden's 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.MKTS/GLOB

The blue-chip index, which mostly has export-oriented and commodity stocks, has rebounded from early-2021 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 post-lockdown rebound. nL1N2KA0T6

The top gainer on the mid-cap index was Insurer Beazley BEZG.L, up 12.5%, after the company said it was confident of returning to profitability in 2021.nL8N2KB1M4

Shares of French Connection FCCN.L gained 66.1% after the British fashion retailer said was is in takeover talks with two possible suitors. nL8N2KB1M9






(Reporting by Shashank Nayar and Amal S in Bengaluru; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel)

((Shashank.Nayar@thomsonreuters.com; within U.S. +1 646 223 8780; outside U.S. +91 80 6182 2256;))

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