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Miners, banks lift FTSE 100 to its best session in two-weeks

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FILE PHOTO: The London Stock Exchange offices in the City of London, Britain
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By Shashank Nayar and Bansari Mayur Kamdar

(Reuters) -London's FTSE 100 recorded its best day in over two weeks on Thursday, led by gains in heavyweight mining and bank stocks, while Workspace Group surged as demand for its office spaces recovered.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 gained 1.2%, with miners Glencore, Anglo-American and Rio Tinto among the top boosts. Industrial and precious metal miners added 2% each on higher metal prices. [MET/L]

The FTSE 100 has gained about 9.5% so far this year and the mid-cap index <.FTMC> is up nearly 10% amid re-opening optimism and accommodative central bank policies.

However, a recent rise in inflation on the back of surging oil and gas prices has weighed on the UK's benchmark indexes as investors now bet on a sooner-than-expected pullback of easy monetary policies.

"Investors are now very much aware we are entering a period where we are going to have continued inflation and it is not going to be ridiculously transitory either," said Danni Hewson, an analyst at AJ Bell.

"But there is a lot of hope still that it will not last beyond a few months."

Royal Dutch Shell gained 1.2% despite warning of a $400 million hit to third-quarter earnings from the damage caused by August's Hurricane Ida.

Homebuilder stocks climbed 0.5% after mortgage lender Halifax said British house prices rose by the most in almost 15 years in September.

The domestically focused mid-cap index advanced 0.8%, with travel stocks among the top performers.

Shares of online auto retailer Pendragon Plc climbed 6.9% after the company reported a strong third-quarter performance.

Workspace rose 4.9% after the office space provider said the number of people using its centres in London peaked at over half of pre-pandemic levels by the end of September.

British recruitment firm Robert Walters rose 2.5% after it said its annual profit would be ahead of expectations as it benefits from a hot jobs market.

(Reporting by Bansari Mayur Kamdar, Shashank Nayar and Amal S; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu, Krishna Chandra Eluri and Steve Orlofsky)

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