UPDATE 2-London stocks clock weekly gains; defensive shares rise

Reuters

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    * Defensive sectors boost FTSE 100
    * Sage gains as its first-half profit meets expectations
    * FTSE 100 up 2.6%, FTSE 250 adds 2.3%

 (Updates to close)
    By Bansari Mayur Kamdar and Amal S
    May 13 (Reuters) - Britain's FTSE 100 rallied on Friday to
erase weekly losses, aided by gains in defensive stocks,
although concerns over stubborn inflation and economic slowdown
kept sentiment in check. 
    The blue-chip FTSE 100  .FTSE  added 2.6%, while the
domestically focused mid-cap index  .FTMC  advanced 2.3% and
ended the week about 0.5% higher.
    Banks and defensive sectors including consumer staples and
healthcare stocks that tend to be less sensitive to the economic
climate boosted the benchmark index. 
    Banks  .FTNMX301010  gained 3.1%, recouping their previous
session's losses, while pharmaceutical giants such as
AstraZeneca  AZN.L  and GlaxoSmithKline  GSK.L  and cyclical
names Diageo  DGE.L , Unilever  ULVR.L  rose between 1.5% and
2.7%.
    "Healthcare is seen as a more defensive sector, certainly
with the ongoing pandemic. The demand for healthcare isn't going
to go away, so you're seeing resilience there," said Susannah
Streeter, senior investment and markets analyst, Hargreaves
Lansdown.
    Oil majors Shell  SHEL.L  and BP  BP.L  gained 2.8% and 3.6%
respectively, tracking a rebound in crude prices.  O/R 
    After falling as much as 2.9%, the benchmark index recouped
losses towards the end of a volatile week to end about 0.4%
higher, as a relief rally led by the defensive stocks offset
weakness in resource-linked shares amid recession fears and
demand concerns.  
    Tension between Britain and the European Union over
post-Brexit trade rules for Northern Ireland also added to
investor woes.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL2N2X50AD
    "There is concern that if there isn't some kind of deal
reached, there could be a fresh trade spat emerging between the
EU and the UK that could lead to a further increase in prices,"
said Streeter. 
    Sage Group  SGE.L  rose 3.9%, after the software company's
first-half profit met market estimates and said its margin was
expected to trend higher in the second half and beyond.
 urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nASM000BOQ     

 (Reporting by Bansari Mayur Kamdar and Amal S in Bengaluru;
Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips, Rashmi Aich and Alison
Williams)
 ((amal.s@thomsonreuters.com;))
 
(( 
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:  .EU 
 Tokyo 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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