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Leisure stocks, retailers boost FTSE 250 as England reopens

(For a Reuters live blog on U.S., UK and European stock markets, click LIVE/ or type LIVE/ in a news window)

* FTSE 100 up 0.2%, FTSE 250 adds 0.3%

May 17 (Reuters) - London’s FTSE 250 rose on Monday, boosted by leisure and retail stocks, as swathes of British economy were to set to reopen after a four-month gloom of COVID-19 lockdown.

The domestically focused mid-cap index advanced 0.3%.

Retailers, homebuilders and personal goods makers were among the biggest gainers.

Broadly, from Monday in England, gatherings of up to 30 people will be allowed outdoors, two families will be allowed to meet indoors; cafes, bars and restaurants will reopen for indoor service; and face coverings will no longer be compulsory in schools.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 index inched 0.02% lower as heavyweight oil majors BP and Royal Dutch Shell and banking stocks, fell and a stronger pound weighed on the index.

Homebuilder Vistry Group added 2.7% after it raised its annual profit forecast on strong demand, as the housing sector benefits from an extension of a property tax holiday and lower interest rates. (Reporting by Devik Jain in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V)

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