- UK economy grows faster than expected in June
- Aviva jumps on results, shareholder return plan
- Cineworld top mid-cap gainer on U.S. listing plans
- FTSE 100 down 0.3%, FTSE 250 flat
Aug 12 (Reuters) – London’s FTSE 100 eased on Thursday as weakness in heavyweight energy and mining stocks outweighed optimism over a slew of strong corporate earnings, with miner Rio Tinto being the top drag on ex-dividend trading.
Insurer Aviva (AV.L) rose 2.3% and was the top gainer on the FTSE 100 after it reported a 17% rise in first-half operating profit and said it would return at least 4 billion pounds ($5.55 billion) to shareholders.
The FTSE 100 has gained 11.5% year-to-date, underperforming a near 19% jump in its wider European aggregate over fears that an overheating economy could add credence to the view that the Bank of England could cut short its asset purchase plans sooner than expected.
Britain’s economy grew by a faster-than expected 1.0% in June, boosted by the huge services sector, against a Reuters poll of economists that pointed to a monthly growth of 0.8%. read more
“While the headline UK GDP numbers show growth, we are still a long way from pre-pandemic levels with only government spending rising at good levels. But that cannot be said for the level of consumer spending, which is affecting investor sentiment to some extent,” said Stefan Koopman, a senior market economist at Rabobank.
Holiday company TUI Group climbed 2% after it said a jump in summer bookings helped it turn cash-flow positive in its March-June quarter for the first time since the pandemic started. read more
Reporting by Shashank Nayar in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu
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