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UK FTSE rises as oil rally boosts index; Ocado down 5%

A worker takes shelter from the rain under a Union Flag umbrella as he walks past the London Stock Exchange in London, Britain October 1, 2008. REUTERS/Toby Melville

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  • FTSE 100 up 0.6%, FTSE 250 up 0.7%
  • Transportation stocks slide as biggest rail strike in 30 years kicks off
  • DS Smith and Telecom Plus up on strong full-year profit

June 21 (Reuters) – London’s FTSE 100 index climbed on Tuesday as a rally in crude prices saw energy stocks soar, while Ocado shares plunged 5% after the online supermarket has announced plans to increase its cash position by more than $1 billion.

The blue-chip index (.FTSE) gained 0.6%, led by energy stocks (.FTNMX601010), as oil prices continued to rise amid crude and commodity shortages tankers.

The domestically-focused mid-cap FTSE 250 index (.FTMC) rose 0.7%, while Telecom Plus (TEP.L) jumped 2.3% after the company posted a strong profit annual.

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The gains amounted to a “relief relief” as worries of a recession linger, said David Madden, market analyst at Equiti Capital.

Investors are also awaiting UK consumer price data for May on Wednesday, after the inflation rate in April hit a 40-year high. Read more

The CPI will take time to subside because there are plenty of reasons inflation is high, including transportation costs, Madden said.

Britain’s biggest rail strike in 30 years began on Tuesday as tens of thousands of workers walked out in a pay and jobs dispute that could pave the way for widespread industrial action across the economy in the coming months. Read more

Transport operators including Firstgroup (FGP.L), Go-Ahead Group (GOG.L) and National Express (NEX.L) lost between 0.5% and 1% in early trade.

Central banks around the world are looking to raise interest rates aggressively to rein in soaring inflation, a sentiment underscored by the Bank of England’s hike to 1.25% on June 16.

Since then, banking stocks (.FTNMX301010), which tend to benefit from a higher rate environment, have gained almost 5%.

Capping gains among major UK indices, Ocado (OCDO.L) fell after the grocer announced plans to boost cash and raise 575 million pounds ($704.2 million) through a placement of shares. Read more

DS Smith (SMDS.L) edged up 0.8% after the cardboard maker released strong annual numbers.

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Reporting by Anisha Sircar in Bengaluru and Boleslaw Lasocki in Gdansk; Editing by Rashmi Aich and Sherry Jacob-Phillips

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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