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UK stocks extend gains as HSBC surges

written by Bella Palmer

The blue-chip FTSE 100 climbed 1.1% after hitting seven-week highs on Friday

UK's top share index extended its winning streak on Monday as HSBC surged after providing an upbeat earnings outlook, while easing inflation expectations dampened hopes of a super-sized rate hike from the Bank of England (BoE) this week.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 climbed 1.1% by 0721 GMT after hitting seven-week highs on Friday.

HSBC jumped 5.9% after Europe's biggest bank announced a higher profitability target and bullish dividend outlook and pushed back on a proposal by top shareholder Ping An Insurance Group Co of China to split itself.

The wider banking index added 1.5%.

Pearson rose 5.6% as the education group reiterated its full-year profit outlook and said its new integrated structure under boss Andy Bird was helping to save costs and grow the top line.

The domestically focused midcap index gained 1.6% after notching a seven-week top last week.

Quilter jumped 13.8% after a media report said NatWest Group is considering a bid for the fund manager.

The British public's expectations for inflation fell again in July, a survey showed, potentially adding to the case for the BoE to increase interest rates by only a quarter percentage point later this week.

Meanwhile, the pan-European STOXX 600 was flat at 7:09 GMT, tracking broader markets as China's official measure of factory activity contracted in July and the Caixin PMI also missed forecasts.

Adding to concerns, data showed German retailers ended the first half of 2022 with the sharpest year-on-year sales drop in nearly three decades, as inflation, the Ukraine conflict and the pandemic take their toll.

Investors awaited factory production data from the euro zone at 0800 GMT that could throw light on the pace of economic growth.


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