Miners, banks boost FTSE 100 ahead of construction activity data

FILE PHOTO: The London Stock Exchange Group offices are seen in the City of London, Britain, December 29, 2017. REUTERS/Toby Melville

(Reuters) – London’s FTSE 100 climbed on Wednesday supported by gains in heavyweight mining and banking stocks, while investors awaited March construction industry activity data later in the day.

The blue-chip index rose 0.4% to its highest since February last year, with Johnson Matthey jumping 3.4% after the chemicals maker said it had started a strategic review of its health business.

Mining stocks rose with Anglo American gaining 2.5%, as the company said it would spin off its thermal coal assets in South Africa.

The domestically focussed mid-cap FTSE 250 index edged 0.04% lower after scaling a record high in the previous session.

Globally, investor sentiment was upbeat after the Federal Reserve underlined its commitment to keeping policy super loose even as the U.S. economy enjoys a rapid recovery. [MKTS/GLOB]

Among other stocks, Lookers jumped 15% after the auto retailer forecast 2021 underlying profit before tax to be materially ahead of analysts’ estimates.

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