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Coronavirus
LOW Source: covid.gov.pk
Pakistan Deaths
28,761
824hr
Pakistan Cases
1,286,453
43124hr
0.98% positivity
Sindh
476,494
Punjab
443,379
Balochistan
33,491
Islamabad
107,848
KPK
180,254

UK's blue-chip index crept higher for a fourth session on Thursday as gains in mining stocks offset losses stemming from ex-dividend trading, while pub group Mitchells rose as its sales surpassed pre-pandemic levels.

The FTSE 100 index gained 0.2%, with the industrial metal and mining index rising as iron ore prices rallied on hopes of a rebound in Chinese demand.

However, further gains were checked by declines in Vodafone and Imperial Brands as they traded without entitlement for dividend.

Mitchells & Butlers rose 1.6% after jumping as much as 7.7% earlier. The company said that sales in recent weeks have been higher than before the pandemic, but warned of challenges ahead due to rising costs for staff and utilities.

"It's by no means out of the woods," said Matt Britzman, equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown. "Ongoing cost pressures due to rising energy costs are expected to remain, and footfall has been slow to recover in city centres and traditional pubs."

An industry group warned on Wednesday that Britain could face a shortage of alcohol this Christmas unless the government steps up its efforts to address a lack of heavy goods vehicle (HGV) drivers.

Commodity-linked shares lift FTSE 100

The exporter-oriented FTSE 100 has also benefitted from a slide in the sterling to 11-month lows this week amid expectations of a U.S. rate hike.

Investors will look for hints on Bank of England's rate hike plans in December, with Governor Andrew Bailey set to speak in the afternoon.

UK midcap stocks rose 0.3% after a four-session losing run, with Vivo Energy surging 20.1% on news that commodities trader Vitol will buy the company in a deal valued at roughly $2.3 billion.

Hochschild Mining jumped 24.1% after it said its key mines in Peru would continue to operate after the South American country allowed miners to seek extensions for mines.

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