FTSE 100 rises after vote for Brexit delay; oil majors gain

Reuters

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    * FTSE 100 up 0.5 pct
    * FTSE 250 up 0.3 pct
    * Oil majors jump on strong crude prices
    * Frankie & Benny's owner surges on LFL sales rise
    * Weak pound lifts exporter stocks
    * Bakkavor slips on Berenberg downgrade
    * Interserve climbs ahead of key investor meet

    March 15 (Reuters) - Gains by oil majors and optimism that a
Brexit delay would help avert a disruptive no-deal departure
helped Britain's main stock index rise for a fifth straight day,
while Frankie & Benny's owner, Restaurant Group, advanced on
strong earnings.
    The FTSE 100  .FTSE  advanced 0.5 percent and the FTSE 250
 .FTMC  was 0.3 percent higher by 0826 GMT.
    Britain's parliament approved asking the European Union for
a short delay if lawmakers can agree on a Brexit deal by March
20, or a longer delay if nothing can be agreed in time.
 urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL8N2112BD
    "This means that for now the prime minister has managed to
retain control of the Brexit process and can resurrect her
rather battered withdrawal agreement for another vote," said CMC
Markets analyst Michael Hewson.
    Shell  RDSa.L  and BP  BP.L  added 1 percent to the main
index after U.S. crude prices rose to their highest this year.
Production cuts and U.S. sanctions against Venezuela and Iran
helped boost prices.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL3N212062
    A weak pound lent support to dollar earners as Prime
Minister Theresa May prepared to try again to win approval for
her proposed Brexit deal. Diageo  DGE.L , the world's largest
spirits company, GlaxoSmithKline  GSK.L  and Unilever  ULVR.L 
all gained.
    On the FTSE 250, Restaurant Group  RTN.L  shares surged 12.2
percent - their biggest rise in two years - after saying
like-for-like sales rose 2.8 percent in the 10 weeks to March
10.
    Interserve  IRV.L  shares gained 15.8 percent after slumping
as much as 8 percent, before a shareholder meeting on whether to
accept a rescue deal or let the troubled outsourcer fall into
administration.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL8N2121G0
    Bakkavor  BAKK.L  slipped 6.5 percent as Berenberg cut its
rating and said it believes UK food manufacturers are "not as
tasty as they look" with shoppers spending more cautiously.
 urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL3N21227N

 (Reporting by Muvija M and Shashwat Awasthi in Bengaluru)
 ((Muvija.M@thomsonreuters.com; within U.S. +1 646 223 8780,
outside U.S. +91 80 6749 3638; Reuters Messaging:
muvija.m.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))
 
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