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Energy shares lift London's FTSE 100; miners weigh

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·2-min read
FILE PHOTO: A BP logo is seen on a petrol station in London
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By Bansari Mayur Kamdar and Amal S

(Reuters) -UK's FTSE 100 edged higher on Tuesday, as energy shares lifted by upbeat results from oil major BP outweighed a strong sterling and weakness in mining shares.

After falling as much as 0.9%, the blue-chip index recouped early losses to end 0.2% higher, while the domestically focussed mid-cap index slipped 0.9%.

BP Plc gained 5.8% as the oil major boosted its share buyback programme after net profit soared to its highest in more than a decade on strong oil and gas trading results.

Miners fell 1.5%, tracking copper and aluminium prices lower, as COVID-19 restrictions in top consumer China and the prospect of aggressive U.S. rate hikes fuelled worries about weaker global growth. [MET/L]

The pound climbed 0.3%, weighing on export-heavy companies such as British American Tobacco and Dove soap maker Unilever, down between 0.2 and 1.6%.

Banking stocks rose 1.8% as long-term yields climbed ahead of the Bank of England meeting this week where it is expected to raise rates for the fourth time in a row.

"I expect a lot of choppiness. The upside is challenging if you look at the way price action has been going," said Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK.

"Much will depend on not only what the Fed does tomorrow but also on its guidance, balance sheet reduction and how fast it goes there, obviously the Bank of England on Thursday and the non farm payrolls data on Friday. Looking at the longer term, we're still in a downtrend for equity markets."

UK's benchmark index has outperformed its pan-European peers so far this year, helped by heavyweight commodity stocks amid the geopolitical uncertainty, and strength in financials in a higher-interest-rate environment.

Elsewhere, HSBC Holdings gained 2.3% after its largest shareholder, Chinese insurance giant Ping An, urged a break-up of the bank in a bid to improve returns.

(Reporting by Bansari Mayur Kamdar and Amal S in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila, Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Richard Chang)

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