Miners boost FTSE 100 on China stimulus optimism

FILE PHOTO: The London Stock Exchange Group offices are seen in the City of London, Britain

By Siddarth S

(Reuters) -UK's FTSE 100 advanced on Monday as mining stocks rose after China rolled out new measures to prop up its stuttering economy, while shares of the London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) climbed on reported plans for a blockchain-based digital assets business.

The exporter-heavy FTSE 100 index gained 0.6% as of 0814 GMT, while the mid-cap FTSE 250 index was up 0.4%.

Asian stocks rallied as China stepped up measures to boost the country's faltering economy, with top banks paving the way for further cuts in lending rates.

Industrial metal miners climbed 1.7% tracking higher metal prices after China's latest measures.

"It's probably helping to give the markets a decent one day boost. The bigger test will be whether or not that translates into a boost over the course of the rest of the week," said Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK.

UK shares have underperformed broader European peers this year due to the heavy weightage of commodity-linked stocks that have lagged behind amid China's lacklustre recovery and the Bank of England's aggressive stance on inflation.

LSEG shares rose 0.5% after the Financial Times reported that the company has drawn up plans for a blockchain-based new digital markets business.

Shares of British oilfield services firm Wood Group and UK North Sea oil and gas producer Harbour Energy rose 1.5% and 1.3%, respectively, after signing a $330 million agreement.

"It's a good deal for Harbour Energy because it helps keep their costs down in the longer term, if they are able to split the costs of maintaining the North Sea operations," CMC's Hewson added.

CMC Markets shares reversed course to slip 0.7% after the online trading platform said it appointed Albert Soleiman as its CFO.

Among other stocks, Hammerson rose 2.7% after Morgan Stanley upgraded the mall operator's stock.

(Reporting by Siddarth S in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu and Dhanya Ann Thoppil)