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Resources push FTSE 100 to highest since mid 2019

FILE PHOTO: FILE PHOTO: A man shelters under an umbrella as he walks past the London Stock Exchange

By Shashwat Chauhan and Johann M Cherian

(Reuters) -Britain's exporter-heavy FTSE 100 closed at a more than three-year high on Monday, led by commodity-linked stocks, as China's reopening of its borders reinforced hopes for a rebound in the world's second-largest economy.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 closed 0.3% higher, but the more domestically-focused FTSE 250 mid-cap index ended 0.1% lower.

Industrial metal miners and energy companies gained 1% to 2% as copper and crude prices climbed on prospects of increased demand after Beijing opened its borders on Sunday.[O/R] [MET/L]

"The continued progress of pulling back from restrictive COVID policy in China has continued to boost sentiment," said Giles Coghlan, chief market analyst at HYCM, adding that expectations for tempered U.S. tightening also aided sentiment.

An industry survey of manufacturers showed Britain became less competitive and less attractive to foreign investors as a result of soaring energy costs and political turmoil.

But the benchmark index has been in the black for every trading session since the start of 2023 and closed at its highest since July 2019.

"While the economy seems to be looking like one of the worst in Europe, the (index) recently traded above 2022 highs because the FTSE 100 firms are multi conglomerates and earn their revenue from abroad and so do not reflect UK sentiment a great deal," said Justin Mcqueen, market specialist at Capital.com

Among single stock news, shares of Keller Group Plc fell 12.0% after it warned its annual operating profit would be slightly below expectations after financial reporting fraud in its Australia-based unit.

Game developer Frontier Developments crashed 42.6% after downgrading its 2023 guidance. Devolver Digital, another gaming stock, slumped 12.6% after the company reported lower-than-expected performance for the second half of 2022 financial year.

(Reporting by Shashwat Chauhan and Johann M Cherianin Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu and Barbara Lewis)