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Banks, miners boost UK stocks as recovery optimism back in focus

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

* Both FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 rise 0.6%

March 30 (Reuters) - British shares rose on Tuesday, boosted by gains in banks and miners as investors turned their focus to vaccine-led economic recovery optimism, while Royal Mail climbed after announcing a one-off dividend payment.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 index was up 0.6%, with bank and mining stocks including HSBC Holdings, Barclays , Prudential Financial, Rio Tinto, Anglo American and BHP being the biggest gainers.

Oil heavyweights BP and Royal Dutch Shell were also among the biggest boosts, rising between 0.5% and 1%.

Bank of England rate-setter Gertjan Vlieghe said Britain’s economy would still need help from the central bank to restore it to its pre-pandemic growth path, even with a fast recovery and some inflation this year.

The domestically focused mid-cap FTSE 250 index climbed 0.6%, led by industrials stocks.

Imperial Brands Plc fell 0.7%, even after maintaining its full-year adjusted profit growth forecast, as it expected “significantly reduced” losses from next generation products and increased investments in its business.

Royal Mail added 2.8%, after saying it would pay a one-off dividend for the year ending March following recent upgrades to its financial outlook on the back of a surge in parcel demand during the pandemic and a recent pick-up in letter volumes. (Reporting by Shivani Kumaresan in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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