Brexit talks to start in Brussels
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U.K. stocks bounced higher Monday, with investors taking on risk by scooping up commodity shares, while retail shares were recovering after a selloff in the previous session.
The FTSE 100 rose 0.8% to 7,518.30, with all sectors gaining, led by oil and gas and consumer-goods shares. Among the top advancers, miner Anglo American PLC (AAL.LN) added 1.7% and Rio Tinto PLC (RIO) (RIO) moved up 1.5%.
The FTSE 100 on Friday broke a four-day losing streak, but still finished the week with a 0.9% decline.
Financial markets were unshaken by initial reports of a "major incident" in London involving a van being driven into a crowd of people (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/one-dead-several-injured-after-car-rams-crowd-in-finsbury-park-london-2017-06-19), resulting in one death and several casualties.
Brexit talks: The new trading week kicks off with the start of talks in Brussels over Britain's exit from the European Union, or Brexit, nearly a year after the U.K. voted to leave the EU in a referendum. U.K.'s Brexit Secretary David Davis was scheduled to meet with the EU's chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, on Monday.
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No Brexit deal for the U.K. would be a "very, very bad outcome," U.K. Treasury chief Philip Hammond said on BBC1's "The Andrew Marr Show" show on Sunday. Britain will exit the European Union's single market, but an agreement for a smooth transition would be ideal, he said.
"Hammond noted that he wants to push for a 'jobs first' Brexit and also rejected the government's previous mantra that 'no deal is better than a bad deal,'" wrote IronFX senior analyst Charalambos Pissouros.
"We consider these as preliminary indications that the Conservatives' stance to Brexit may have started to soften up. If more government or Tory officials echo similar remarks, then speculation regarding a smoother Brexit could resurface," he said.
The pound was buying $1.2791, up from $1.2778 late Friday in New York. Sterling has slid over the months from around $1.50 just before the Brexit referendum on June 23, 2016.
U.K. stocks rose alongside European markets , as the French CAC index surged after French President Emmanuel Macron's upstart party notched a strong win (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/macrons-party-on-track-for-dominant-win-in-french-parliament-2017-06-18) in Sunday's parliamentary elections.
Retail recovery: J Sainsbury PLC (SBRY.LN) rose 1.9% and Marks & Spencer Group PLC (MKS.LN) (MKS.LN) picked up 1.7% after Friday's selloff among food retailers. That move lower came after Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) said it has made a deal to buy Whole Foods Market Inc (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/amazon-to-buy-whole-foods-for-137-billion-2017-06-16-91035726).(WFM) , which sparked concerns of increased competition in the grocery industry.
Shares of Tesco PLC (TSCO.LN) (TSCO.LN), Britain's largest supermarket chain, were up a more modest 0.4% on Monday. But on the midcap FTSE 250 (OCDO.LN) , Ocado Group (OCDO.LN) jumped 8.5%, as the British online grocery company is considered a takeover target.
Read: European grocers crumble after Amazon-Whole Foods deal fuels pricing concerns (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/european-grocers-crumble-after-amazon-whole-foods-deal-fuels-pricing-concerns-2017-06-16)
Stock movers: Decliners on Monday included Mediclinic International PLC (MDC.LN) and publisher Pearson PLC (PSON.LN) , each down 0.9%. Goldman Sachs reiterated its sell rating on Pearson.
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
June 19, 2017 04:26 ET (08:26 GMT)