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LONDON: London’s FTSE 100 index climbed on Wednesday, helped by gains in heavyweight energy and banking stocks, while Bloomsbury Publishing jumped on a robust earnings report.

The blue-chip index rose 0.4%, with oil majors BP and Royal Dutch Shell climbing 1.9% and 2.2% respectively, as crude prices extended gains.

Banks, including HSBC, Prudential Plc, Lloyds Banking Group and Barclays also provided the biggest boosts to the index.

The domestically focused mid-cap FTSE 250 index advanced 0.3%, touching a record high.

Bloomsbury Publishing surged 11.3% as the Harry Potter publisher declared a special dividend and lifted its targets for the current year, as strong book sales during lockdowns drove a 22% surge in its annual earnings.

The FTSE 100 index has traded in a tight range since April as concerns grew that central banks might pare support early as economies reopen and inflation climbs.

Among other stocks, Tate & Lyle rose 2.5%, after Berenberg upgraded the food ingredients maker’s stock to “buy” on prospects of a business split.

Burberry Group jumped 3.5% to the top of the FTSE 100 index after Exane BNP Paribas upgraded the stock to “outperform” from “neutral”.

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