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Commodity, leisure stocks lead British shares higher on recovery optimism

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* FTSE 100 up 1.1%, FTSE 250 adds 0.96%

April 6 (Reuters) - British shares were boosted on Tuesday by heavyweight commodity and banking stocks, while prospects of a planned economic reopening from a coronavirus lockdown starting next week lifted beaten-down stocks of restaurants and pub operators.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 index rose 1.1%. Energy stocks BP Plc and Royal Dutch Shell Plc, and miners Rio Tinto, Anglo American and Antofagasta Plc gained between 2.1% and 2.6%, tracking higher crude and metal prices.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday said with the vaccine rolling out rapidly across Britain and infection numbers falling, England could proceed to Stage 2 of his roadmap out of lockdown from April 12 with the opening of all shops, gyms, hairdressers and outdoor hospitality areas.

The domestically focused mid-cap FTSE 250 index added 0.96% with cruise operator Carnival Plc jumping 5.3% and providing the biggest boost.

Pub operators and restaurants J D Wetherspoon, Restaurant Group and Marston’s Plc rose between 1.4% and 4% after Minister for COVID Vaccine Deployment Nadhim Zahawi said pubs and restaurants won’t require vaccine certificates in the initial re-opening of England’s economy.

Reporting by Devik Jain in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips

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