London stocks gain as global economies reopen, StanChart jumps

FILE PHOTO: Pedestrians leave and enter the London Stock Exchange in London, Britain August 15, 2017. REUTERS/Neil Hall

(Reuters) – UK stocks rose for a third straight day on Wednesday as investors looked past a round of dour quarterly earnings reports on optimism over a revival in business activity after several countries began easing coronavirus-induced shutdowns.

Standard Chartered PLC (STAN.L) said it expected virus-battered economies to recover later this year, even as it beefed up to cover potential loan defaults due to the health crisis. The lender’s shares jumped 5.9% and lifted other bank stocks.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 .FTSE was up 0.6%, hovering near seven-week highs, while the domestically focussed mid-cap index .FTMC also added 0.6%.

London’s stock indexes have jumped more than 5% this month on a flood of global stimulus and hopes the pandemic was starting to be contained, but sentiment remains fragile as corporate earnings underline the extent of the economic damage already done.

British Airways-owner IAG (ICAG.L) fell 3.9% after forecasting that passenger numbers would take years to recover and saying that it would cut more than a quarter of its jobs.

Reporting by Sagarika Jaisinghani in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila

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