UK shares rise on travel, banking boost; retail sales data eases taper fears
(Reuters) – UK shares climbed on Friday, lifted by banks and travel stocks, as concerns about a sooner-than-expected policy tightening by the Bank of England eased after British retail sales fell unexpectedly in August.
The blue-chip FTSE 100 index rose 0.6%, with banking shares gaining after a series of brokerage upgrades and price target hikes.
Lloyds Banking Group and Natwest Group climbed 1.2% each after Deutsche Bank raised price targets on the lenders’ stocks.
Asia-focused banks HSBC Holdings and Standard Chartered jumped after Barclays lifted price targets on their stocks. RBC also upgraded HSBC to “outperform” from “sector perform”.
The domestically focused mid-cap FTSE 250 index advanced 0.3%.
British retail sales dropped 0.9% on the month in August versus Reuters poll for a rise of 0.5%.
Travel and leisure shares gained 1.3% as Britain was set to consider easing England’s COVID-19 rules for international travel after the travel industry complained that a myriad of onerous rules and red tape were hobbling airlines, holiday and tourism companies.
Airlines easyJet, Wizz Air, Ryanair Holdings and British Airways owner IAG, were up between 0.9% and 3.6%.
Reporting by Devik Jain in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V