UPDATE 1-British stocks jump as mining shares track surge in silver prices – Reuters

FILE PHOTO: A street cleaning operative walks past the London Stock Exchange Group building in the City of London financial district, whilst British stocks tumble as investors fear that the coronavirus outbreak could stall the global economy, in London, Britain, March 9, 2020. REUTERS/Toby Melville/File Photo

(Reuters) – British shares rose on Monday, led by gains in mining stocks as silver became the latest target of a retail investor trading frenzy, while fashion retailer ASOS gained on a deal to buy rival brands and JD Sports surged following its second acquisition in the United States.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 index gained 0.9%, recovering from its worst session in three months, with miners and construction stocks gaining the most. The mid-cap index added 0.8%.

BHP Group, Rio Tinto and Anglo American were the top gainers in the FTSE 100 index.

Silver prices surged to an eight-year high, silver-mining stocks leapt and bullion dealers were scrambling as small-time investors piled in to the metal. [nL1N2K60M1]

“I still think there is difficult times ahead as far as the markets are concerned though it is a positive start to the month with the moves in mining stocks giving a lift,” said Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at OANDA.

British manufacturers suffered a double hit last month as COVID-19 disruption to global shipping combined with new trade barriers with the European Union, a survey showed.

The FTSE 100 has recovered nearly 30% from its March 2020 lows and is 15% away from its highest point last year, led by stimulus support and re-opening optimism, but a recent surge in coronavirus infections and fresh lockdowns capped further gains.

Shares of ASOS gained 6.9% after the fashion retailer’s acquisition of Topshop, Topman, Miss Selfridge and HIIT brands from the administrators of Philip Green’s collapsed Arcadia group for 265 million pounds ($364 million).

Britain’s biggest sportswear retailer JD Sports jumped 7.0% on a takeover deal to buy DTLR Villa, its second acquisition in the United States, as the retailer expands its business on the west coast.

Reporting by Shashank Nayar, Amal S and Shivani Kumaresan in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta, Uttaresh.V and Jane Merriman