© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Pedestrians leave and enter the London Stock Exchange in London, Britain August 15, 2017. REUTERS/Neil Hall/File Photo
By Shashank Nayar
(Reuters) -London’s FTSE 100 ended higher on Monday as gains in insurance stocks led by Admiral Group (LON:ADML) outweighed weakness in heavyweight energy and mining stocks, while concerns over a rise in coronavirus infections in Britain kept gains in check.
Admiral rose 3.9% to the top of the FTSE 100 after the British motor insurer said it was on track for a higher-than-expected first-half profit due to lower motor accident claims during pandemic lockdowns.
The blue-chip FTSE 100 ended 0.1% higher, with non-life insurers, healthcare and real estate stocks gaining the most.
AstraZeneca (NASDAQ:AZN) gave the biggest boost to the FTSE 100 after brokerage Jefferies raised its price target on the stock, while Thailand said it would use the drugmaker’s vaccine as a second dose for those who received Sinovac’s shot as their first dose in a bid to increase protection.
England will go ahead with plans to lift almost all legal restrictions on day-to-day life on July 19, health minister Sajid Javid said on Monday.
“There still seems to be a great deal of uncertainty prevailing over the rate of increase in Delta variant cases, and the prospect of a much slower re-opening process, as governments try to win the race between vaccines and accelerating case numbers,” said Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets.
Concerns over a recent jump in UK coronavirus infections have kept the FTSE 100 range-bound near 7,100, limiting further gains and also leading the index to largely underperform its local mid-cap peer.
Daily Mail and General Trust Plc climbed 3.3% after the founding family and leading investor in the publisher said it was considering taking the group private in a $1.1 billion deal.
The domestically focussed mid-cap index inched 0.1% lower with travel and leisure stocks falling the most.
Real estate, insurance stocks push FTSE 100 higher; Admiral jumps
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