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UK stocks rise as investors look to BoE for recovery cues

(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 0.1%, FTSE 250 adds 0.3%

March 18 (Reuters) - UK stocks rose on Thursday, led by a rally in mining and bank stocks, while investors looked to the Bank of England’s policy meeting for forecasts around the pace of Britain’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 index climbed 0.1%, with mining stocks including Rio Tinto, Glencore Plc and BHP Group adding between 1% and 1.2%.

Bank stocks, mainly HSBC Holdings, Lloyds Banking Group and Barclays Plc, were also among the biggest gainers.

The Bank of England is not expected to change its crisis-fighting stimulus programme at 1200 GMT and will probably try to keep a lid on expectations that the UK economy was heading for a strong, vaccine-boosted recovery after suffering its worst crash in three centuries last year.

The domestically focused mid-cap FTSE 250 index rose 0.3%, led by industrials stocks.

Gambling group 888 Holdings rose 6.0%, after posting higher annual adjusted core earnings and signalling strong momentum in 2021 so far, as more people shifted to online betting during coronavirus restrictions.

Drinks maker Fever-Tree fell 5.3%, despite a better 2021 revenue forecast with at-home drinking catching on and sales at lockdown-hit bars and restaurants expected to gradually gain momentum. (Reporting by Shivani Kumaresan in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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