UK shares climb on boost from financial stocks, strong results

A worker shelters from the rain under a Union Flag umbrella as he passes the London Stock Exchange in London, Britain, October 1, 2008. REUTERS/Toby Melville

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  • WH Smith rises as sales cross pre-pandemic levels
  • Publisher Bloomsbury rises on strong FY profit
  • FTSE 100 up 0.5%, FTSE 250 adds 1.1%

June 15 (Reuters) – London’s main indexes rose on Wednesday as financial stocks gained and strong results from companies including WH Smith lifted sentiment ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve meeting later in the day.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 (.FTSE) was up 0.5% and the domestically focussed mid-cap FTSE 250 index (.FTMC) advanced 1.1% after logging six straight sessions of losses amid fears of an economic slowdown.

Shares of Asia-focused bank HSBC (HSBA.L) gained 1.7% to provide the biggest boost to the FTSE 100 index.

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WH Smith (SMWH.L) climbed 5.7% to the top of the FTSE 250 index after the retailer’s quarterly revenue surpassed pre-pandemic levels. read more

The U.S. Federal Reserve is expected to announce its policy decision at 1800 GMT, with focus on how aggressive it would be on interest rate hikes to combat decades-high inflation. Many fear a drastic action would risk tipping the world into recession. read more

“The U.S. economy still has a bit more room for manoeuvre and although a downturn is on the horizon, it’s still more of a distant threat compared to in the UK where a recession is looming much larger,” said Susannah Streeter, senior investment and markets analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown.

The Bank of England will likely raise interest rates on Thursday by 25 basis points to 1.25% and stick to those increments in coming meetings despite inflation running close to double-digits, according to a Reuters poll of economists. read more

Whitbread (WTB.L) added 3.4% after the Premier Inn owner reported higher first-quarter sales on a recovery in hotel stays in the UK and Germany. read more

Bloomsbury Publishing (BLPU.L) jumped 5.3% after the company reported a 40% jump in annual profit. read more

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Reporting by Devik Jain in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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