LONDON: London’s FTSE 100 ended higher on Thursday on the back of gains in healthcare heavyweight GlaxoSmithKline and mining stocks, while hopes of a faster economic recovery lifted the mid-cap index to record highs.
The blue-chip index rose 0.6%, with GlaxoSmithKline advancing 5% to become the top gainer after the European Medicines Agency said it was reviewing available data on the use of the company’s monoclonal antibody to treat COVID-19 patients.
The gains also came after a report that activist hedge fund Elliott Management took a multi-billion pound stake in the British pharmaceutical firm.
Precious and base metal miners added 2.6% and 1.3%, respectively, as they benefited from higher metal and gold prices.
The domestically focussed mid-cap FTSE 250 index climbed 0.5%, led by gains in consumer discretionary and industrial stocks.
Britain’s biggest building materials seller Travis Perkins gained 2.2% and was one of the biggest boosts to the mid-cap index after it said its first-quarter like-for-like sales, excluding the Wickes unit, rose 17.4%.
The FTSE 100 has gained 8.1% so far this year as investors bet that speedy vaccine rollouts, policy support from the government and businesses reopening would fuel a stronger economic rebound from the pandemic-driven crash.
British gambling group Entain gained 1.1% after its quarterly online net revenue jumped 33%, even as shop closures hit its total net gaming revenue.