London stocks rise, but set for weekly loss as slowdown woes mount

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Oil and defensive stocks lifted UK’s FTSE 100 on Friday, although the index was set for a weekly loss as worries about aggressive interest rate hikes and a sharp slowdown in China’s economy weighed on investors’ risk appetite.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 added 0.6%, with gains for oil majors and defensive stocks such as British American Tobacco and AstraZeneca supporting the index.

The domestically focussed FTSE 250 index also edged 0.6% higher. Still, both benchmarks were poised for weekly losses.

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London-listed shares of Rio Tinto slipped 1.7% after the global miner warned that labor shortages and soaring inflation would impact its earnings in the second half.

Peers Anglo American and Glencore fell 1.9% and 0.7%, respectively.

Burberry dropped 4.9% after the luxury brand said its first-quarter comparable store sales rose by 1%, limited by COVID-19 lockdowns in China, its biggest market.

Low-cost carrier EasyJet dropped 2.9% after J.P. Morgan downgraded the stock to “underweight.”

Tonic maker Fevertree fell 31.5% after it lowered its annual profit forecast, citing worsening cost pressures and logistical issues.

(Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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