UK stocks slip, but record their best week so far in 2022

A man takes shelter under an umbrella as he walks past the London Stock Exchange in London, Britain August 24, 2015. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett

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  • BAT on sales jump, share repurchase of 2 billion
  • Britain’s economy shrank less than expected in December
  • FTSE 100 down 0.2%, FTSE 250 down 0.7%
  • Both indexes have best week so far in 2022

Feb 11 (Reuters) – British stocks ended lower on Friday, following global markets betting on aggressive U.S. rate hikes, but major indexes still marked their best week so far in 2022 as data rose. showed that the British economy suffered less than expected from the wave of the Omicron coronavirus.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 (.FTSE) slid 0.2%, while the mid-cap 250 (.FTMC) fell 0.7%. The FTSE 100 has outperformed the pan-European STOXX 600 (.STOXX) index this year, thanks to its heavy weighting in banking stocks and commodities.

Despite the day’s weakness, the FTSE 100 rose 1.9% and the FTSE Mid 250 1.6% for the week.

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Data showed the UK economy contracted 0.2% less than expected in December, suggesting that, despite the setback caused by the Omicron variant, GDP grew strongly in the fourth quarter. Read more

“The last month of the year hasn’t been a disaster…and looking at the last quarter as a whole, there’s plenty to be positive about,” said Danni Hewson, financial analyst at AJ Bell.

Hewson added that the question now was whether 2022 would see the UK shake off the December blip or whether supply constraints and rising prices would limit household consumption, which has been a key factor in the growth of the GDP.

The pessimistic mood spread on Wall Street as investors digested the possibility of aggressive U.S. rate hikes after hawkish comments from St. Louis Federal Reserve Chairman James Bullard following the reading of the US inflation highest in nearly 40 years.

Shares of British American Tobacco (BATS.L) rose 3% after posting a full-year revenue boost as well as a dividend increase and a $2 billion share buyback program pounds ($2.71 billion) for 2022. read more

Valve maker Spirax-Sarco (SPX.L) fell 3.8% after Jefferies cut its price target, while food ingredients maker Tate & Lyle jumped 9.5% on outlook optimistic earnings.

($1 = 0.7381 pounds)

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Reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal and Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru Editing by Rashmi Aich and Mark Potter

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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