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LONDON: British shares rose on Monday, boosted by gains in bank and energy stocks tracking higher commodity prices, while easing of a stringent lockdown also lifted sentiment. The blue-chip FTSE 100 index rose 0.6%, with bank stocks, mainly HSBC Holdings, Lloyds Banking group , and Barclays Plc, gaining between 1.8% and 2.9%.

Oil producers BP and Royal Dutch Shell were also among the biggest gainers on the index as crude oil prices surged. “The inflation the world is seeing is transient cost/push inflation, and is indicative of an accelerating recovery,” said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at OANDA.

“Given the UK’s outstanding vaccination effort vis-a-vis most of the world, and the reasons behind the rise of inflation, I expect UK equities to outperform in 2021, not underperform.”

The FTSE 100 and the mid-cap index have recovered more than 36% and 70%, respectively, from a coronavirus-driven crash last year, as investors bet on a swifter economic rebound, aided by domestic and global fiscal stimulus.

Last week, Britain’s finance minister Rishi Sunak announced support for businesses, while on Saturday, the US Senate passed a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 aid bill. Bank of England governor Bailey is scheduled to speak at 1000 GMT.

The reopening of England’s schools to all pupils on Monday will mark the first step back towards normality and is only possible because of the efforts of the public, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said.

The domestically focused mid-cap FTSE 250 index rose 0.8%, with travel stocks, mainly TUI AG, Carnival Plc, Easyjet, and Wizz Air rising between 2.15 and 4.1%.

Senior Plc rose 4.5%, even as the British aircraft parts supplier swung to an annual loss, hit by COVID-19-related disruptions to flight travel and Boeing’s BA.N 737 MAX crisis.

Life insurer Phoenix gained 2.2%, after posting a 48% rise in annual operating profit, helped by its purchase of Swiss Re’s British business ReAssure last year.

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