LONDON: UK's midcap index edged higher on Monday led by gains in CMC Markets and Cineworld, while a rise in shares of Royal Dutch Shell helped offset declines in mining stocks, lifting the commodity-heavy FTSE 100.
The domestically-focussed FTSE 250 index ended 0.3% higher. CMC Markets rose 6.4% after the online trading group announced a possible separation of its leveraged and non-leveraged divisions. Cineworld jumped 6.6% to the top of index after the world's second-largest theatre operator said revenue has grown steadily since reopening and touched 90% of pre-pandemic levels last month.
The blue-chip FTSE 100 index inched 0.1% up, with Shell adding 2.1% after the energy giant said it would scrap its dual share structure and move its head office to Britain from the Netherlands. Gains were limited, however, as miners slipped 1.5%, pressured by global moves to reduce coal use and a big drop in China's steel production.
Inflationary pressures and supply chain problems have weighed on UK's economic recovery, with the FTSE 100 gaining 13.7% this year but still underperforming its peers in Europe and the United States. All eyes are now on jobs data on Tuesday followed by October CPI and retail sales figures later in the week for clues on the Bank of England's (BoE) policy decision in December.
"How has the end of furlough filtered through to the UK's jobs market? That's one of two big questions UK markets are waiting to hear answers to this week. The second is exactly what does inflation number look like and how uncomfortable will it make members of the BoE's MPC," Danni Hewson, financial analyst at AJ Bell, said.
BoE Governor Andrew Bailey said he was very uneasy about the inflation outlook and that his vote to keep interest rates on hold earlier this month had been a very close call. Among other stocks, drugmaker AstraZeneca gained 1.9% to provide the biggest boost to the FTSE 100 index, followed by banking shares.