(Reuters) – UK shares rose on Wednesday as a clutch of quarterly earnings reports signalled a rebound in consumer demand following the easing of coronavirus restrictions, while insurer Hastings surged after agreeing to a $2.2 billion buyout offer.
The motor insurer (HSTG.L) jumped 17.5% to the top of the FTSE 250 after agreeing to be bought by Finland’s Sampo (SAMPO.HE) and South Africa’s Rand Merchant Investment (RMI) (RMIJ.J).
The mid-cap FTSE 250 .FTMC was up 0.5%, also boosted by industrial, consumer discretionary and financial stocks.
The export-laden FTSE 100 .FTSE gained 0.8%, with investors also watching signs of progress in a U.S. fiscal relief bill. White House negotiators have vowed to work “around the clock” to reach a spending deal by the end of the week.
Soft drinks bottler Coca Cola HBC (CCH.L) rose 4.7% as it said business had recovered from April lows.
Bookmaker William Hill (WMH.L) added 5.5% on reporting a better-than-expected first-half profit, while announcing 119 UK betting shops closed by coronavirus lockdowns would not reopen as it combines its online and retail British businesses.