London stocks gain on earnings support, fresh lockdowns weigh

14 Jan 2021 / 16:35 H.

    (For a Reuters live blog on U.S., UK and European stock markets, click LIVE/ or type LIVE/ in a news window)

    * FTSE 100 up 0.3%, FTSE 250 adds 0.7%

    Jan 14 (Reuters) - British shares gained on Thursday as a set of positive earnings helped support investor sentiment at a time when rising COVID-19 infections and fresh lockdowns across Europe raised fiscal health concerns.

    However, gains were capped as a major chunk of the global recovery in companies' earnings expected in the first quarter is at risk of being pushed back further as mobility restrictions cloud hopes of a swifter economic rebound, investment banks said.

    The blue-chip FTSE 100 index gained 0.3%, with banks and real estate stocks gaining the most. The mid-cap index gained 0.7%.

    Homebuilder Taylor Wimpey dropped 1.6% even after saying its 2020 operating profit would meet market expectations, while Premier Inn-owner Whitbread gained 0.6% on lower job cuts than earlier expected.

    A boom in Britain's housing market has started to fade, dampened by new COVID-19 lockdowns and the coming expiry of a temporary tax cut for buyers, a survey showed.

    Tesco, Britain's biggest retailer, fell 2.1% even as it reported buoyant Christmas trading, while fashion retailer Boohoo slipped 3.4% even after raising its annual revenue target. (Reporting by Shashank Nayar in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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