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UK stocks rise on boost from consumer firms, miners

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

(Reuters) -UK's main stock indexes closed higher on Monday, buoyed by consumer firms and miners, while investors awaited domestic and U.S economic data due this week to gauge the likelihood of a recession.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 closed up 0.3% to 7792.5, after posting its first weekly loss of the year in the previous session on worries about a recession and hawkish comments from central bank policymakers. The index last week came close to its record high of 7,903.5.

Consumer staples firms such as Diageo Plc and Ocado Group rose between 0.3% and 4%, while base metal miners gained 0.6% as copper prices ticked up. [MET/L]

Focus this week will be on GDP and inflation data out of the United States as well as business activity data from the UK.

"These will offer insight into two key and related factors which are grabbing the market's attention right now," AJ Bell investment director Russ Mould said.

"First, will the U.S. avoid a deep recession and second, will inflation ease sufficiently to allow the Federal Reserve to ease up on interest rates before it has inflicted too much pain on businesses and consumers?"

The FTSE 250 closed the session 0.5% higher.

Among single stocks, Dignity Plc climbed 8.2%, after the funeral services provider agreed to a sweetened 281-million-pound ($349 million) takeover by a consortium backed by investment firms SPWOne V Ltd, Castelnau Group and Phoenix Asset Management Partners.

National Express Group was up 1.0% after jumping as much as 5.2% earlier in the day after the transport firm said its German rail transport business had won a 1-billion-euro ($1.09 billion) contract to operate two lines of the Rhein-Ruhr-Express in Germany until 2033.

Fuller Smith & Turner fell 1.6% as the pub group forecast full-year earnings would come in below market expectations as several tube and train strikes affected their sales.

(Reporting by Sruthi Shankar and Shristi Achar A in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D'Souza, Dhanya Ann Thoppil and Andrew Heavens)