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Retailers push FTSE 100 higher as pound weakens; Next top gainer

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* FTSE 100 up 0.7%, FTSE 250 adds 0.8%

July 21 (Reuters) - London’s FTSE 100 rose on Wednesday led by gains in export-oriented retailers as the pound weakened, while fashion retailer Next was the top gainer after it raised its profit guidance on the back of robust earnings.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 gained 0.7% with retailers Compass Group, Diageo and Unilever among the top boosts.

Retail stocks, the top gainers among sectoral peers, were up 2.5%.

The domestically focussed mid-cap index rose 0.8%, pushed by gains in travel and leisure stocks, up 1.9%.

Britain’s economic bounce-back from the coronavirus lockdowns cooled in June despite a surge in business for the country’s hospitality sector, according to a survey which echoed other signs that the recovery has lost some of its pace.

Among stocks, British fashion retailer Next rose 7.7% after it said it had soundly beaten its expectations for full-price sales and as a result it was increasing its profit guidance. (Reporting by Shashank Nayar in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)

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