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London stocks gain on vaccine hopes, GlaxoSmithKline boost

Credit: REUTERS/PETER NICHOLLS

London-listed shares rose on Wednesday as signs of progress in developing a COVID-19 vaccine bolstered hopes of a swift post-pandemic economic rebound, while GlaxoSmithKline gained after a U.S. health panel voted in favour of its blood cancer drug.

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U.S. health panel votes in favour of GSK's blood cancer drug

Industrial, tech, consumer discretionary stocks boost FTSE 250

U.S.-China tensions keep mood cautious

ASOS jumps, Burberry slumps on mixed earnings updates

FTSE 100 up 1.0%, FTSE 250 adds 0.9%

Adds comments; updates prices

By Shashank Nayar

July 15 (Reuters) - London-listed shares rose on Wednesday as signs of progress in developing a COVID-19 vaccine bolstered hopes of a swift post-pandemic economic rebound, while GlaxoSmithKline gained after a U.S. health panel voted in favour of its blood cancer drug.

The drugmaker GSK.L rose 1.4% and was the biggest boost to the FTSE 100 as the independent panel to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said the benefits of the experimental treatment for multiple myeloma outweighed the risks.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 .FTSE was up 1.0%, tracking gains in Wall Street futures as Moderna Inc's MRNA.O experimental vaccine for COVID-19 showed it was safe and provoked immune responses in an early-stage study.

The mid-cap FTSE 250 .FTMC added 0.9%, propelled by industrial, consumer discretionary and technology stocks.

"News on the COVID-19 vaccine development has provided a required shot in the arm to markets (and) we also see sentiment improving on (a pickup in) consumer spending across the United States and Europe," said Patrik Lang, head of equity and global strategy at Julius Baer.

UK stock markets have struggled this month to build on a sharp rebound since a coronavirus-driven slump in March, as a surge in global infections and building U.S.-China tensions dented demand for riskier assets. The FTSE 100 has not managed to gain for more than three days in row since mid May.

Asia-focussed lender HSBC Holdings Plc HSBA.L was the single biggest drag on the FTSE 100 as U.S. President Donald Trump ordered an end to Hong Kong's special status under U.S. law, prompting a warning from China. MKTS/GLOB

In a mixed bag of quarterly earnings updates, online fashion retailer ASOS ASOS.L jumped 2.8% on posting a sales bump through the coronavirus lockdown, while Burberry BRBY.L slumped 5.5% as it said demand had been severely impacted by the pandemic.

(Reporting by Shashank Nayar in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Sagarika Jaisinghani; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)

((Shashank.Nayar@thomsonreuters.com; within U.S. +1 646 223 8780; outside U.S. +91 80 6182 2256;))

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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