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London’s FTSE 100 edges higher, set for fourth weekly gain

London’s FTSE 100 edges higher, set for fourth weekly gain

By Shristi Achar A

(Reuters) -Britain’s FTSE 100 inched up on Friday and was set for a fourth straight weekly gain, boosted by shares of pharmaceuticals and consumer staple firms, while miners tracked copper prices higher.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 edged up 0.2%, while the mid-cap FTSE 250 added 0.9% as of 0816 GMT.

Healthcare stocks added 0.9%, with Dechra, jumping 36.2% after the British veterinary pharmaceuticals maker said it had entered into talks with private equity group EQT for a possible offer in a 4.63 billion pounds ($5.80 billion) all-cash deal.

Consumer staples British American Tobacco Plc and Diageo Plc rose 0.6% and 0.4%, respectively.

“Investors just seem to be gravitating to companies that aren’t overly cyclical, have strong dependable margins, like consumer staples, healthcare and luxury companies,” said Patrick Armstrong, chief investment officer, Plurimi Wealth.

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“These are companies aren’t really driven by the lower end consumer, they have stable cash flows, revenues and would be less at risk if we do fall into a recession.”

Firm copper prices lifted industrial miners 0.3%. [MET/L]

Oil and gas stocks, however, slipped 0.3%, tracking weakness in oil prices after the International Energy Agency warned that output cuts announced by OPEC+ producers could exacerbate an oil supply deficit and hurt consumers. [O/R]

FTSE 100 is set for a 1.5% week jump, with gains in industrial miners boosting the resource-rich index, while investors have also taken interest in recession-safe sectors including consumer staples and pharmaceuticals.

Among other major movers, Superdry tumbled 17.4% after the struggling fashion brand said a potential equity raise of up to 20% was among funding options being considered.

AO World Plc soared 10.9% after the online electricals retailer said it expected its annual profit to be around the top end of its forecast.

888 Holdings surged 16.3% after the bootmaker forecast a higher adjusted core profit for 2023.

(Reporting by Shristi Achar A in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu and Rashmi Aich)

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