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LONDON: British shares rose on Wednesday, buoyed by gains in commodity and banking stocks, while investors awaited Finance Minister Rishi Sunak’s budget plan as the country tries to recover from a coronavirus-inflicted economic shock.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 index rose 1.0%, with mining stocks including Rio Tinto, Anglo American and BHP gaining between 1% and 1.6%.

Banking stocks, mainly HSBC Holdings Plc, Prudential Plc and Standard Chartered Plc were among the biggest boost to the index, followed by oil heavyweights BP and Royal Dutch Shell.

Sunak will promise to do “whatever it takes”, including a five-month extension of Britain’s huge jobs rescue plan, to steer the economy through what he hopes will be the final months of COVID-19 restrictions.

The domestically focused mid-cap FTSE 250 index rose 0.6%, led by industrials stocks.

Polymetal, one of Russia’s largest gold and silver producers, rose 4.3%, after posting a record high net earnings of $1.1 billion in 2020 on stronger global prices for precious metals.

Britain’s second-largest homebuilder, Persimmon, fell 0.6%, as it reported a 25% slump in annual pre-tax profit.—Reuters

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