By Callum Keown
The FTSE 100 /zigman2/quotes/210598409/delayed UK:UKX +1.71% was higher on Wednesday as trade tensions between the U.S. and China appeared to ease ahead of crunch talks in Washington.
The blue-chip index climbed 0.4%, recovering some of Tuesday’s losses, while the domestically-focused FTSE 250 /zigman2/quotes/210598417/delayed UK:MCX +1.54% edged up 0.1% as Brexit uncertainty heightened.
Oil and mining stocks gained ground as crude prices rallied on fresh trade optimism.
What’s moving the markets?
British stocks recovered on Wednesday despite recent escalation between the world’s two largest economies ahead of Thursday’s trade talks.
After blacklisting a group of Chinese tech companies over alleged human rights abuses against China’s Muslim minority groups on Monday, the U.S. followed up by imposing visa restrictions on a number of Chinese officials.
On Wednesday, Beijing, stopping the flow of bad news, said it was still open to a “partial trade deal”, according to Bloomberg.
Chinese officials could also offer to increase annual purchases of U.S. agricultural products when negotiations resume tomorrow, the Financial Times (paywall) reported.
The pound edged up from one-month lows on tentative hopes of a Brexit deal.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is set to meet his Irish counterpart Leo Varadkar later on Wednesday in a bid to force a breakthrough ahead of an Oct. 31 deadline for Britain to exit from the European Union.
Which stocks are active?
Gambling group GVC /zigman2/quotes/207493593/delayed UK:GVC +9.64% climbed 3.9% after the Ladbrokes owner raised its full-year earnings guidance. Online gambling revenue rose 12% in the third quarter and its U.K. high street betting shops performed better expected amid tighter regulation. It also welcomed an “encouraging start” in the U.S. following its launch of the BetMGM app in New Jersey.
Oil and mining stocks gained ground as crude prices rallied on the prospect of potential U.S. stimulus and trade optimism. Anglo American /zigman2/quotes/201381512/delayed UK:AAL +1.08% climbed 1.8%, BP /zigman2/quotes/202286639/delayed UK:BP +4.11% rose 1.1% and Rio Tinto jumped 0.7%.