BRUSSELS/FRANKFURT/PARIS (dpa-AFX) - U.K. stocks gained ground on Friday after a Chinese health expert said that the coronavirus outbreak in Beijing is under control.
Meanwhile, U.K. retail sales recovered at a faster than expected pace in May driven by non-food store sales and the budget deficit reached a record high amid high expenditure, official data showed today.
Retail sales volume increased at a pace of 12 percent on month, in contrast to an 18 percent decrease in April, the Office for National Statistics reported. Sales were forecast to climb 5.7 percent.
Similarly, sales volume excluding auto fuel, advanced 10.2 percent versus a 15 percent fall a month ago and economists' forecast of 4.5 percent.
The benchmark FTSE 100 was up 70 points, or 1.1 percent, at 6,293 after declining half a percent on Thursday.
Rio Tinto rose 0.7 percent. The mining giant has launched a board-led review of its heritage management processes following criticism of its destruction of two ancient rock shelters in Western Australia last month.
Energy services company Wood Group edged down slightly. The company said that it expects adjusted earnings to fall around 19 percent in the first half.
Ferrexpo shares tumbled 3 percent. The commodity trading and mining company said that a district court in Kyiv has prohibited the transfer of the company's 50 percent stake in Ferrexpo Poltava Mining.
Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX
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