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Energy, mining stocks drag UK shares lower; AstraZeneca rises

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* FTSE 100 down 0.7%, FTSE 250 off 0.4%

March 22 (Reuters) - London’s FTSE 100 inched lower on Monday, dragged by energy and mining stocks as oil and metals prices slipped over fears of slowing demand, while AstraZeneca rose after its COVID-19 vaccine was found effective in a U.S. trial.

The commodity-heavy FTSE 100 index slipped 0.7%, with oil heavyweights BP and Royal Dutch Shell being the biggest drags on the index.

Mining stocks including Rio Tinto, Anglo American , and BHP were also among the biggest laggards, falling between 0.4% and 1.3%.

Britons should wait before booking summer holidays abroad, social care minister Helen Whately warned, pointing out that there were rising COVID-19 infection rates in Europe.

The domestically focused mid-cap FTSE 250 index fell 0.4%, dragged down by industrials stocks.

Home improvement retailer Kingfisher rose 3.5%, after posting a 44% jump in full-year profit driven by the popularity of do-it-yourself projects during the pandemic.

Drugmaker AstraZeneca gained 0.9%, after its COVID-19 vaccine was found 79% effective in a large U.S. trial at preventing symptomatic illness, and was 100% effective against severe or critical disease and hospitalisation. (Reporting by Shivani Kumaresan in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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