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FTSE 100 gains as banks bounce back; Rentokil jumps

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

By Shashwat Chauhan and Shristi Achar A

(Reuters) -London stocks rose on Thursday as the banking sector recovered after Credit Suisse received a lifeline from the Swiss central bank to boost investor confidence, while Rentokil jumped after posting a higher profit.

UK's blue-chip FTSE 100 gained 0.9%, rebounding from its steepest fall in over a year on Wednesday, while the mid-cap FTSE 250 rose 0.7%.

Credit Suisse jumped nearly 30% on plans to borrow up to $54 billion from the Swiss National Bank (SNB) to shore up liquidity and investor confidence.

British banks gained 1.9%, a day after falling 5.6%.

"Taking a page from the Americans' book in 2008 and over the weekend, rapid action to reassure depositors will hopefully start to calm things down," said Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell.

Shares of British banks, in line with their global peers, have been volatile this week, as financial markets continued to struggle in the aftermath of contagion fears from crises involving U.S. regional banks and Credit Suisse.

The European Central Bank raised interest rates as promised by 50 basis points, while dropping its forward guidance - a move perceived as positive by the market.

"They've removed pre-commitments to hike policy (rates) and taken away any guidance," said Tim Graf, head of European macro strategy at State Street Global Markets.

"It is a belief that central banks are still focused on inflation, but are now maybe a bit more willing to adjust policy to be less hawkish than previously thought."

Investors await the Bank of England's rate decision next week, with money markets seeing a 60% chance of a 25-basis-point hike.

Among single stocks, Rentokil Initial surged 10.1% after the pest control services provider lifted its medium-term outlook.

Asset manager Bridgepoint Group rose 5% after reporting higher revenue for 2022.

Glencore Plc gained 2.7% on a report that the miner would not renew a $16-billion deal to buy aluminium from Russia's largest producer.

(Reporting by Shashwat Chauhan and Shristi Achar A in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D'Souza, Uttaresh Venkateshwaran and Richard Chang)