Financials and health stocks increase the FTSE 100; Next jumps

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* FTSE 100 up 0.6%, FTSE 250 up 0.7%

September 29 (Reuters) – London’s FTSE 100 rose on Wednesday, driven by financials and health care stocks, as clothing retailer Next topped the blue chip index after raising its annual earnings outlook.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 index gained 0.6% at 8:05 a.m. GMT as heavyweight banks followed bond yields higher and Astrazeneca boosted health stocks.

HSBC Holdings rose 1.5% and led the banking sub-index higher, while Investec, Natwest Group and Lloyds rose 0.3% to 0.7%.

AstraZeneca rose 2.5% after the pharmaceutical company said its newly acquired Alexion division would buy the remaining capital of drugmaker Caelum Biosciences in a deal that could be worth up to $ 500 million.

The domestically focused mid-cap index rose 0.7%, with travel and leisure stocks among the top gainers.

On the business side, clothing retailer Next Plc rose 3.6% after raising its full-year profit forecast.

Upper Crust owner SSP Group fell 1.4% after a slow recovery as sales remained at half of pre-pandemic levels. (Reporting by Bansari Mayur Kamdar; editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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