UPDATE 2-UK blue chips end higher as telecoms group BT surges on stake buy

Reuters

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markets, click LIVE/ or type LIVE/ in a news window)
    * AstraZeneca, pharma stocks lead gains
    * Investors shrug off spike in U.S. inflation
    * BT tops FTSE 100 after Altice takes 12% stake
    * FTSE 100 up 0.1%, FTSE 250 down 0.7%

 (Updates to close)
    By Sagarika Jaisinghani and Sruthi Shankar
    June 10 (Reuters) - Britain's blue-chip index closed
slightly higher on Thursday, aided by gains in telecoms group BT
and pharma majors, while doubts over the UK's reopening plans
later this month hurt the domestically focused mid-cap index.
    Shares in BT Group  BT.L  jumped 6.6% to hit their highest
since January 2020 after telecoms billionaire Patrick Drahi's
Altice Group  ATUS.N  bought a 12.1% stake worth about 2.2
billion pounds ($3.1 billion), making it the largest
shareholder.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL5N2NS14R
    "Altice is an established name in the telecoms space and the
purchase of a 12% holding in BT is a significant move," said AJ
Bell investment director Russ Mould.
    "It has been said for years that UK assets are cheap and
2021 is proving to be the year when investors finally put their
money where their mouth is."
    The export-heavy FTSE 100  .FTSE  ended the day up 0.1%,
also boosted by drugmakers AstraZeneca  AZN.L  and
GlaxoSmithKline  GSK.L .
    Global stocks remained buoyant, with Wall Street's S&P 500
 .SPX  reaching a record high as investors took to the view that
a spike in May consumer prices was probably not enough to drive
an early policy tightening by the Federal Reserve.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL2N2NR2Q5
    The European Central Bank also pledged to keep monetary
policy loose despite lifting its growth and inflation
projections for the euro zone.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL2N2NS0FH
    Stocks more exposed to the domestic economy took a hit, with
the UK's mid-cap index  .FTMC  falling 0.7% in its third session
of losses amid doubts over a full reopening of the country on
June 21 as coronavirus cases pick-up again.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL5N2NQ4S2
    Meanwhile, Britain and the European Union failed to agree on
solutions to post-Brexit trade problems in Northern Ireland this
week, with the two sides exchanging threats, including
imposition of tariffs and quotas.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL2N2NR0LW 
    Among other stocks, facilities management provider Mitie
 MTO.L  jumped 5.9% as it predicted its full-year profit would
beat current market estimates.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL3N2NS1H4
    Online trading platform CMC Markets  CMCX.L  rose 1.7% as it
said annual profits had more than doubled.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL3N2NS1G9

 (Reporting by Sagarika Jaisinghani in Bengaluru; editing by
Uttaresh.V and Mark Heinrich)
 ((Sagarika.Jaisinghani@thomsonreuters.com; within U.S. +1 646
223 8780; outside U.S. +91 80 6182 2256;))
 
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