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Much-awaited holiday cheer finally arrives to UK markets

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* FTSE 100 up 2.3 pct, best day in 8 months

* FTSE 250 up 2.2 pct

* Oil majors biggest boosts

* All sectors close in the black

* Music retailer HMV to enter administration

By Muvija M and Shashwat Awasthi

Dec 28 (Reuters) - British shares leaped off multi-year lowson Friday boosted by initial relief spilling over from theUnited States, where stocks sprang back on Thursday followingsteep losses as a turbulent 2018 neared its end.

The FTSE 100 .FTSE was up 2.27 percent and the FTSE 250 .FTMC was up 2.19 percent, with just one more trading day leftin the year. All sectors bagged gains with the FTSE 100recording its best day since April.

Both indexes had sunk to their lowest in more than two yearsin the previous session with the mid-cap bourse closing just shyof confirming a bear market over concerns about the globaleconomy.

The UK indexes defended most gains on Friday, despite theWall Street turning sour again by 1530 GMT.

Oil majors BP BP.L and Shell RDSa.L were among thebiggest boosts to the FTSE, up 3.5 percent and 2.3 percentrespectively as oil prices rebounded. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL3N1YX110

Shares in exporter companies also climbed, led by BritishAmerican Tobacco BATS.L which rose 4.3 percent.

Pharmaceutical giants AstraZenecaAZN.L , GlaxoSmithKline GSK.L and financial heavyweights HSBCHSBA.L , Prudential PRU.L all added between 1.9 and 3.4 percent.

Britain's mid-cap index, which is more exposed touncertainties at home, was aided by strength in industrials andbank shares.

In single moves, the biggest support to the index was a 6.3percent surge in shares of CYBGCYBGC.L , the owner ofClydesdale Bank and Yorkshire Bank.

The United States and China are locked in a trade war thathas disrupted the flow of hundreds of billions of dollars ofgoods, but while trade relations between the U.S. and China werestill fraught, some saw signs of progress in recent days. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL3N1YW216

"The Chinese have liberalised, they've set up for morediscussions in January. It's not going to be a straight road butI think there's a little bit of cause for optimism there," ChrisBailey, Raymond James analyst, said.

Persisting worries over a slowdown in the global economycompounded by the trade spat have put U.S. bourses and their UKcounterparts on course for their worst yearly losses since the2008 financial crisis.

With a U.S. government shutdown also ongoing and Brexituncertainties remaining unresolved, the FTSE 100 was on trackfor its worst quarterly fall since 2011, when Europe wasbattling a sovereign debt crisis.

It was down 10.3 percent this quarter.

Among a handful of stocks in the red, XaarXAR.L , whichmakes ink jets for printers, hit its lowest in over eight years,underperforming the rest of the small-cap index .FTSC with an8 percent fall after a disappointing trading update. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nASP00049S

In more bad news for the retail sector's already subduedfestive spirit, entertainment retailer HMV Retail said it wouldappoint administrators, with Sky News saying that would putabout 2,200 jobs at risk.

Data had separately showed sales on Boxing Day - a key dayfor the retail industry - dipped. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL8N1YW1XS

HMV, among Britain's best-known high street names, said itwas calling in the administrators for the second time in sixyears, and it blamed a worsening market for CDs and DVDs. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL3N1YX27Q

HMV joins the likes of Toys R Us, House of Fraser andMothercare MTC.L on the list of high-profile household namesthat have gone under this year amid Brexit jitters, lowerconsumer spending and rising labour costs.

Muvija.M@thomsonreuters.com muvija.m.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net

((For related prices, Reuters users may click on - * UK stock report .L FTSE index: 0#.FTS6 techMARK 100 index: .FTT1X FTSE futures: 0#FFI: Gilt futures: 0#FLG: Smallcap index: .FTSC FTSE 250 index: .FTMC FTSE 350 index: .FTLC Market digest: .AD.L Top 10 by vol: .AV.L Top price gainers: .NG.L Top % gainers: .PG.L Top price losers: .NL.L Top % losers: .PL.L

* For related news, click on - * UK hot stocks: [HOT and GB] Wall Street: .N Gilts report: GB/ Euro bond report GVD/EUR Pan European stock report: .EUTokyo stocks: .T HK stocks: .HK Sterling report: GBP/ Dollar report: USD/

* For company prices, click on - * Company directory: UKEQ By sector: FTAX

* For pan-European market data, click on - * European Equities speed guide................ EUR/EQUITY FTSE Eurotop 300 index........................... .FTEU3 DJ STOXX index................................... .STOXX Top 10 STOXX sectors........................ .PGL.STOXXS Top 10 EUROSTOXX sectors................... .PGL.STOXXES Top 10 Eurotop 300 sectors.................. .PGL.FTEU3S Top 25 European pct gainers.................... .PG.PEUR Top 25 European pct losers..................... .PL.PEUR ))


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