Miners, oil majors boost FTSE 100 higher ahead of factory activity data

FILE PHOTO: A man shelters under an umbrella as he walks past the London Stock Exchange in London, Britain, August 24, 2015. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett

(Reuters) – London’s FTSE 100 index edged higher on Tuesday, helped by gains in heavyweight commodity stocks, while investors awaited a monthly reading on factory activity to gauge the pace of the country’s economic recovery.

The blue-chip index rose 0.4%, with base metal miners gaining 2.5% as they tracked higher copper and iron ore prices. [O/R]

Oil majors BP and Royal Dutch Shell also added more than 0.5% each after Brent crude topped $70 on favourable demand outlook. [O/R]

The domestically focused mid-cap FTSE 250 index advanced 0.4%.

Wickes Group added 3.1% after the do-it-yourself retailer said its sales had surged in April, resulting in total like-for-like growth in the 21 weeks to May 22 at 46% compared with the same period a year ago.

Mortgage lender Nationwide said British house prices jumped by an annual 10.9%, the most in nearly seven years, and they look set to accelerate further as people seek new homes after the COVID-19 pandemic.

The wider homebuilders index rose 1.1%.

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